Riding the Rails

commuterrail.PNG I had another opportunity to go to Boston this weekend and, as always, I was struck by the ease of use of their public transportation system. Granted, it’s a big city surrounded by densely-populated suburbs. The New Haven-Hartford-Springfield corridor is somewhat less so. But I still believe that there’s a place for a commuter rail line here, especially as gas prices climb ($3.25 today at the corner Mobil station) and oil gets ever more expensive. The Courant‘s editorial board seems to agree, suggesting that the current vacancy at the top of DOT presents a golden opportunity to change the way Connecticut thinks about transit.

That isn’t all, of course. Part of the effort is a bill concerning better bus service. The idea of fewer stops on simplified lines also makes a lot of sense, since it can often take a very, very long time to get anywhere on the bus. And if you can make sense of this, more power to you.

Hopefully reform of the rails and buses is coming. But what about highways? Does I-95 need another lane in eastern Connecticut? What about Fairfield County–can anything be done to ease congestion there? Should I even bring up Route 11?

Transportation around here is always going to be a mess. But if the state can start taking small, positive steps like the ones outlined above, Connecticut will be a lot better off in the future, and maybe there will come a day when I can go to Boston and think about how it’s just as easy to get around the Connecticut Valley. Here’s hoping.

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