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Station Upgrades Needed To Make Rail Line Work

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Courant Article

Station Upgrades Needed To Make Rail Line Work

June 3, 2007


Here it is 2007, and the Harford metro area and Massachusetts's nearby Pioneer Valley still are fully dependent on automobile use, a pattern that has continued for decades since trolley lines were removed, commuter rail service was scrapped and bus service was marginalized.

This is a major reason this area of more than 1.7 million is still decaying as a viable business, technology and cultural center. The latest sign of this autocentric decay came when MetLife confirmed in April that it was moving 1,300 jobs from downtown Hartford to Bloomfield, due in large part to lack of ample parking in the city.

Northampton and Amherst are hip and bustling urban academic and retail centers, easily accessible from Hartford by rail. Yet, though discussions have begun, there are still no plans to bring commuter service back to those communities.

The other area in need of service is Bradley International Airport. The state Department of Transportation quashed a proposed link between Hartford and the airport along the "Griffin Line" a decade ago, in part because of the cost and challenge of adding new track from the Griffin office park in Bloomfield to the main Bradley terminal in Windsor Locks.

However, when the MBTA completes its Rhode Island commuter line extension from downtown Providence to T.F. Green Airport and rail links to the New York airports are finished, Bradley will be the last major airport From Boston to New Jersey in 2007 without a transit link.

I agree with pretty much everything in the commentary.

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