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transportation

Harriet Jones

The rest of Connecticut might groan at summer gas prices, but in Fairfield County, four dollar gas has a whole different meaning. Small businesses especially, pay the price for the county’s transportation woes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

When gas prices spiked this year, and gas was more than $4.30 a gallon in southwest Connecticut, the help wanted ads began going up all over Fairfield County.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s multi-million dollar investment in a new high-speed rail line from New Haven to Springfield is supposed to spur economic development. And for some communities it will mean big changes. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to talk to small business owners in Meriden about their hopes for the city as the new line comes through.

It’s a sunny day in downtown Meriden and Ron Dagan and I are walking on a street parallel to the nearby train tracks.

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.

A lot of urban planners in Connecticut have this phrase -- "good bones."

jjsala, Creative Commons

Nearly 30 million trips are made every day using public transit, mostly in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.  And the main destination of these millions of commuters is, not surprisingly, work.  So a new Brookings report surveyed public transit in 100 cities in the U.S. including Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, to see just how effective public transit is in getting people to their jobs every day.

jjsala, Creative Commons

Nearly 30 million trips are made every day using public transit, mostly in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.  And the main destination of these millions of commuters is, not surprisingly, work.  So a new Brookings report surveyed public transit in 100 cities in the U.S. including Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford, to see just how effective public transit is in getting people to their jobs every day.

Route 11 Study Begins... Again

May 23, 2011
Polaron, Wikipedia

Governor Malloy announced today the state will re-start the planning process for the completion of Route 11. The highway now stops in Salem, but the original plan was to extend it to I - 95 in Waterford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Malloy is open to putting tolls on the road.

Congressman Joe Courtney says when President Obama attended the Coast Guard Academy graduation in New London last week, he was a little late.

Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut has secured $40 million for its high speed rail project from New Haven to Springfield from the federal government. The money will be used to lay additional tracks.

When it comes to getting federal money, Judd Everhart with Connecticut's Department of Transportation says red tape can really slow things down.

"This grant was originally announced last year by then-governor Rell and that just gives you a sense of how long these kinds of things can take," Everhart says.

Flickr user Payton Chung

Despite less than six months in office, Governor Dannel Malloy was a crowd favorite at Tuesday's transit forum in Hartford.

One of his fans was Floyd Lapp, director of the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency.

"Here comes another bouquet for former mayor Malloy," Lapp said.

Lapp was one of many at Tuesday's forum who said Governor Malloy’s experience rebuilding the area around Stamford's train station while mayor should serve the state well.

WNPR/Nancy Cohen

The New Haven to Springfield high speed rail line snagged $30 million in federal funding today. But that's far less than the $227 million Connecticut was hoping for.

Governor Dannel Malloy says he's not disappointed with the pay-out.

"You ask for a lot money in the hopes that you're going to get it. Amtrak asked for a lot more than they're getting. Everybody asked for more than they're getting," Malloy says. "No, I'm feeling great. We're going to compete time and time again. We're going to be in those fights. And we're not going to take passes."

Chion Wolf

A new report says almost all low-income residents in Connecticut's biggest cities have access to public transportation. But those buses, shuttles and trains are often too infrequent to get them to work.

After two years of crunching data, Alan Berube was surprised to find that nearly 70 percent of people in America's metropolitan areas have access to public transit.

That's true in Connecticut too. But "access" here could just mean a bus runs down your street every half hour.

flicker user smaedli

Earlier this week, Connecticut received $30 million federal dollars for the New Haven to Springfield rail project. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The first stop is Meriden, a city well on its way to welcoming the train.

Meriden's downtown isn't that different from those in other industrial towns in Connecticut. After manufacturing dried up, retail fled to the malls and slowly, all that was left behind started to crumble.

Electric Cars Power Up

May 5, 2011
JM Rosenfeld, Creative Commons

Earlier this week Connecticut Light & Power Co launched the "Plug My Ride'' campaign to increase awareness of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state.  This also kicked off a research project that aims to understand how an influx of electric vehicles in the near future will affect the region's power grid.   

We spoke with Watson Collins, the electric vehicles project manager for parent company Northeast Utilities, about the company's plans to install up to 30 charging stations by the end of the year.

Connecticut commuters reacted with cautious relief Monday to news of the death of Osama bin Laden. Some say they’re concerned about a possible backlash.

Police look on as Connecticut commuters rush to catch trains at New Haven’s Union Station. Madison businessman Jim Morrissey says he’s not sure yet what Osama bin Laden’s death will mean for Americans.  

Human Traffic Signals

Apr 11, 2011
Uma Ramiah photo

For at least 20 minutes on Friday evening, no one ran a red light at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets downtown.

It may have been all those human red lights, on a mission.

“We’re here because we’ve noticed a problem in New Haven, where drivers run red lights pretty frequently,” said Juli Stupakevich (pictured), who organized a “Red Means Stop” protest at that intersection. “Red just doesn’t mean stop anymore.”

New Britain Busway

Apr 5, 2011

Governor Dannel Malloy has given his stamp of approval on construction of a New Britain to Hartford busway. The busway will travel along a 9.6 mile route of abandoned railroad bed, easing congestion on Interstate 84. Opponents and Supporters of the project met late last month with the Governor to offer their opinion on this controversial project.  One of those opponents is University of Connecticut Civil Engineering professor, Norman Garrick.

Governor Gives Green Light for Busway

Apr 5, 2011
Capitol Region Council of Governments

Connecticut is closer to getting its first rapid transit system. Governor Dannel Malloy announced today his support for a rapid bus project from New Britain to Hartford. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the Governor says he also wants to devote state funds to study a rail project in Waterbury.

Malloy Expects To Get Money For Transportation

Mar 22, 2011
Brent Moore

Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington D.C. today (Thursday) to meet  with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. They discussed Connecticut’s application for high-speed rail funding. WNPR's Jason Cunningham reports.

Governor Malloy says he's confident that Connecticut will receive a portion of the $2.4 billion in federal transportation funding released last week. Speaking by phone to reporters he said he'll continue to pursue the $100 million in transportation funding that Florida’s Governor passed up.

Debate Over Busway Heats Up

Feb 23, 2011
Capitol Region Council of Governments

Connecticut’s Transportation Committee is considering a proposal to take funds designated for a New Britain to Hartford bus project and spend it on reinvigorating train service from Waterbury to Hartford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

The “busway” project, as it’s known, is designed to reduce the congestion on Interstate 84 by building a separate 9.4 mile road just for busses. There would be elevated platforms, similar to a train station with service every three to six minutes during peak commuter hours.

Chris McClane, Creative Commons

Connecticut transportation is in crisis on the ground and in the skies.

The Northeast corridor has the nation’s busiest airspace and Metro-North’s New Haven Line the most commuter traffic in the U.S. But thanks to relentless winter weather and continued delay of the MTA’s new M8 train cars, more than half of Metro North’s New Haven line trains are out of service.  The result is a  decrease in service and plenty of livid commuters. 

Thomas McMillan, New Haven Independent

A pilot landing at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks hears a roaring noise just above his plane, but checks his traffic alert system and sees nothing in the area.

“Do you have traffic on top of us?” he asks an airport controller. The response is matter-of-fact but chilling: The plane has entered an area of “heavy military operations,” with a pair of F-15 fighter jets that departed nearby Barnes Municipal Airport coming close enough to deem the incident an “NMAC,” or near midair collision, a January 2010 report says.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

A New City Plan

Oct 29, 2010
Chion Wolf

The underlying theme this month (right after the elections, of course) is transportation. It seems much-anticipated changes are slowly happening, on the national and local level.  This week, Connecticut and Massachusetts announced that they will share nearly 121 million in federal funds to help launch high speed passenger rail service.  One step closer to the long awaited Springfield – New Haven rail line. 

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