I had been planning to share the first part of this story for months. Actually, I’ve been planning to share it since before WATWB was a thing. It was about 10 years ago when the various government agencies started planning to add light-rail service between New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts. At first, we thought it would never happen. Then, several years ago, they started improving the rails and stations between those two cites. Most of the line has been double-tracked, so trains can pass without heading to a siding and many of the stations have been expanded.
Sadly, my home town station is not among the recently improved. The rails through Windsor Locks will be tricky to improve, as the single track runs between the road and the west bank of the Windsor Locks Canal. We have signed agreements with AMTRAK (the nationwide train service that owns the tracks) and the CT State Department of Transportation to relocate our train station, but construction of the new station has not yet begun. That’s OK, the train stops here, and it goes south to New Haven and north to Springfield, so that’s all that matters.
The Hartford Courant covered the inaugural run between the stations, and I’m happy to report that it was a success:
“The Hartford Line tweeted late Saturday that “more than 6,300 people took a ride” on opening day. A train crew member said 264 people rode the first train from New Haven to Springfield. The next train, the 9:55 a.m. southbound, was so crowded the train crew gave up trying to count.
At points, it was standing-room only and at Hartford some passengers were turned away because the train was too crowded. The crowds continued through the day Saturday. Amtrak added a 2 p.m. extra train out of Springfield to handle the crush of riders.”
The other bit of good “transit’ news came as a bit of a surprise – Lime Bikes has set up shop in Hartford. Again, the Hartford Courant was reporting success:
“LimeBike rolled into Hartford last week like a thunderstorm. Three hundred bright green, dockless bicycles were launched into the city, initially concentrating around downtown, the train station and Bushnell Park. The weather was perfect, and the bicycles were soon underneath riders.
For those who missed it, Limebikes are put out for anyone to use when they need to get somewhere. A LimeBiker hires a bicycle via phone app and pays just $1 for the first 30 minutes, with the price going up after to help keep the bicycles close. The bicycles were spotted with riders from all walks of life.”
Lime Bikes have been so well-received that the company added 200 more bikes to the mix last week.
In addition to appealing to my love of trains and bicycles, these transit options bring area residents without private transportation better opportunities for employment, housing and education. – This just in: The Hartford Line reported almost 11,000 riders in their first full week of operation!
The “We are the World” Blogfest has extended its year-long journey and this is month three of year-two. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Mary J Giese, Dan Antion, Damyanti Biswas , welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2019.