Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Connecticut Puts Visionary in Transport Role

Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green reports that Connecticut's new transportation commissioner, Joseph Marie, is a visionary "who realizes that to survive economically we must have roads and trains." As Marie sees it, right now there is no better place for a transit guy than the Nutmeg State, which, historically, has let rail play second fiddle to its highway network.

"We sip our coffee and Marie is off like a locomotive, telling me about regional train lines one day linking Hartford and Springfield and up to Vermont and down to New Jersey, about commuter rail through New London and into Rhode Island. He tells me that he built light-rail lines in Minneapolis and Phoenix and how he sought out the Connecticut job because of the opportunity here."

In a related development, Commissioner Marie told the Courant that a proposal by two Connecticut legislators to establish commuter rail service between Waterbury and Hartford is "worth exploring," although he envisions it as a "long-term project."

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