One of Connecticut’s economic strengths is its proximity to New York and Boston. But this strength is in jeopardy as our roads and rails get more and more clogged—and Connecticut commuters get more and more fed up. One of my top priorities in Congress is dramatically increasing the amount of federal support for mass transit, rail, and highway funding. In March 2018, I helped secure the largest ever single-year appropriation for Amtrak. Of that, $650 million is dedicated to improving Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. In 2015, I secured over $3.5 billion in federal funds for Connecticut's roads and rails in a five-year transportation funding bill. Beyond providing our state with much-needed transportation dollars, this legislation separated Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor account from Amtrak’s National Network account, thereby allowing all profits from the Northeast Corridor to be reinvested in the Northeast Corridor.
But I’m interested in more than simply upholding the status quo. True high-speed rail would be a game-changer in Connecticut. Dramatically speeding up the travel time from New Haven to Manhattan would unleash jobs and development for the entire state, and I’m fighting to make that goal a reality.
One high-speed rail goal that has been realized is the launch of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield line. In 2009 and 2010, I secured $191 million in federal funds for the project and the line will revolutionize rail service and economic development along I-91. The project will bring more service after faster speeds and at a lower price than existing service, making it a win-win-win for commuters and towns alike.
Finally, I have worked to hear directly from Connecticut commuters on these issues. That’s why I launched the Fed Up initiative to hear from real people about their commutes and how we can make things better. It’s also why I have held listening sessions across the state--at highway rest stops, on the Metro-North branch lines, on city buses. Traffic means stress. Congestion means being late for work. Delays mean missing dinner with your kids night after night. I want to do whatever I can to help make sure that we’re working to make commutes in Connecticut more manageable so that people can spend time with friends and family instead of sitting in traffic or on stalled trains.