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Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy said he wants Metro-North Railroad to pay Connecticut customers for tickets they can't use as a result of the service outage. The power failure along an eight-mile section of the New Haven line has frustrated commuters and politicians alike. Officials said it could take weeks to repair.

Keno Gets Closer; Anchoring Bass Pro; Rail Headaches

Sep 27, 2013
Nazox / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut has been dancing around the idea of keno for a while now. The state made another move across the room to commit some spending that would help to bring keno to hundreds of locations in the state. Meanwhile, the bond commission is working to get Bass Pro Shops in place in Bridgeport, and miserable commuters continue to cope with a broken Metro-North. Read about it in today's Wheelhouse Digest.

Metro-North Delays Cause More Frustration

Sep 27, 2013
JoeJoeJoe93 / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy met with railroad and utility officials at New York's Grand Central Station Thursday to discuss the disruption of rail service for tens of thousands of commuters on the Metro-North and Amtrak lines, the Associated Press reports.

WNPR

Metro-North's New Haven rail line is disrupted this morning because of a failed commercial power cable. At the state's emergency operations center in Hartford on Wednesday, Governor Dannel Malloy said it could be weeks before Metro-North is back to full strength.

Bikes, Trains, and Automobiles

Sep 20, 2013
Melissa Bailey / NewHavenIndependent.org

You may have noticed this morning that I-84 near the Connecticut-New York border will be shut down temporarily this weekend, while a bridge is repaired. That got us thinking at The Wheelhouse Digest about other ways to get around. What you need to know now is a little bit of transportation news from around the state.

Urban explorer Steve Duncan goes underground, examining the hidden infrastructure of major cities all over the world: their tunnels, subways and sewers. Late in 2010, NPR's Jacki Lyden joined Duncan and a group of subterranean adventurers in New York. (This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 2, 2011.)

First Lawsuit Filed After Metro-North Crash

May 30, 2013

As the investigation into last Friday’s train crash continues, victims are starting to come forward. The first lawsuit against the Metro-North Railroad Company was filed in federal court today.

65-year-old Elizabeth Sorensen of Mystic was on the Eastbound train going from New York City to New Haven last Friday when it derailed and was struck by a train going in the other direction. She was thrown violently around the rail car and suffered severe multiple fractures and brain trauma.

Americans' Driving Habits are Shifting

May 23, 2013

Last Friday’s train crash showed the need for more investment in mass transit in Connecticut. In addition, new data reveals that Americans’ driving habits are changing, especially among younger people. Transportation advocates say it’s time for planners and governments to change their priorities.

As bad as the traffic may be on your way to work, Abe Scarr has some news for you.

“The driving boom is over.”

Monday's Commute: Carmageddon Avoided

May 23, 2013

Metro-North railroad has announced it will restore full service to the New Haven line on Wednesday. While many commuters heeded pleas to avoid rush hour travel on Monday, some didn’t have a choice or decided to brave it anyway -- including me. 

Monday's Commute: Carmageddon Avoided

May 23, 2013

Metro-North railroad has announced it will restore full service to the New Haven line on Wednesday. While many commuters heeded pleas to avoid rush hour travel on Monday, some didn’t have a choice or decided to brave it anyway -- including me. 

Neena Satija

For many commuters, Friday evening's ride on Metro-North was uneventful at first.

“The train was moving along, I guess there was no reason to suspect anything," said Frank Bilotti to the New Haven Register. "Everybody was just daydreaming and passing the time away and all of a sudden, there was a sudden crash. So there’s no warning, no sirens, no whistles or anything.”

Troy David Johnston/flickr creative commons

Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know. Samuel Arbesman is an expert in the field of scientometrics—literally the science of science, and he’ll join us to look at The Half-Life of Facts.

Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

Officials from towns in Fairfield and New Haven counties got a crash course on transit oriented development.

Roger Reynolds is the senior staff attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He helped create the toolkit and he gave us a crash course on TOD.

Reynolds says taking a TOD will create more of a community and use the resources that we already have.

A Night to Remember

Mar 29, 2013

Steam power captivated the popular imagination in the nineteenth century. Regular steam navigation on the Connecticut River dates back to the early 1820s. Hartford and New York were linked by steamers whenever the river was ice free, typically from March through November of each year.

The Thanksgiving Commute

Nov 27, 2012

42 million people drove to visit family and friends during Thanksgiving weekend. WNPR’s Neena Satija joined them this year, but before leaving, she paid a visit to the state department of transportation to get the insider’s guide to holiday traffic. 

Dru Nadler

I don’t normally think of commuting as an adventure. But it did seem a little like one yesterday morning as people got word that they could finally take the train from Stamford into Manhattan once again. Trumbull resident Brian Keane usually commutes from Westport into the city. Today, he drove to Stamford’s train station – and was ready for a little adventure when it came to parking.

“I actually have a bike in my car, because I figured if there wasn’t any parking, I’d park up on Bedford Street and bike down," he told me.

Rant & Rail: The Hassle of Train Tickets

Oct 24, 2012
DanTD / Creative Commons

As traffic on the highways gets worse, and gas prices rise, more people are shedding their cars. But using alternatives like trains and buses won’t always get you where you need to go.

Rant & Rail: When's My Next Train?

Oct 15, 2012
WalkingGeek / Flickr Creative Commons

As traffic on the highways gets worse, and gas prices rise, more people are shedding their cars. But using alternatives like trains and buses won’t always get you where you need to go. Reporter Neena Satija is kicking off a new series on WNPR and the Connecticut Mirror called “Rant & Rail.” Today, she explores how we find out when the next train is leaving the station.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Another $121 million in federal funding has been committed to a high-speed rail project linking New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield.  As WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, Governor Dannel Malloy was in Meriden for the announcement.

Will the Future of Rail Travel Include Metro-North?

Aug 27, 2012
WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

There’s talk of Hartford to New York in half an hour. New York to Boston in 90 minutes. Tunnels under the Long Island Sound zipping trains across the region. It’s exciting stuff. But here in Connecticut, many are saying, ‘wait a minute. First thing’s first.’

“We don’t have money today to run the railroad that we operate – or try to operate – today," says Jim Cameron.

Hartford Wins $10 Million for Smart Growth

Jun 28, 2012
Amtrak

The grant, announced last week, is part of the TIGER program begun by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2009. Several dozen cities and towns across the country, out of hundreds of applicants, were awarded a total of $500 million for projects following smart-growth principles.

The city plans to use most of the money to improve access from Union Station to Main Street and Asylum and Pearl streets downtown. That way more people can take the train to Hartford and easily get to their nearby office -- potentially dramatically changing the fabric of downtown.

Keene/Cheshire Cty (NH) Historical Photos (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Department of Transportation has released an environmental impact report for the proposed high speed rail line between New Haven and Springfield Massachusetts. 

Chion Wolf

Last week, Connecticut handed out $5 million to a variety of towns and cities to create transit-oriented development projects around existing or planned transportation hubs. Here to talk with us about what this means is Tom Condon, he's deputy editorial page editor and columnist with the Hartford Courant who writes about transportation and development.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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