State officials are weighing a change to the fall schedule for train service on the New Canaan branch and other Metro-North Railroad lines, according to the head of the town Parking Bureau.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation “might be adjusting the fall schedule to reflect the current ridership patterns, meaning that certain midweek there’s more people commuting than maybe at the end of the week on Fridays,” according to Parking Director Stacy Miltenberg.
“So they’re looking at some adjustments,” she said during an update to members of the Parking Commission at their Aug. 2 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
“It will not only affect the New Canaan branch line—they’re looking at it for the New Haven line, as well as the shoreline east,” Miltenberg continued. “Most likely then it will involve the non-peak trains. But again, it’s still something in the discussion phase. It is something that is being discussed, and I believe the town’s representatives are trying to say that the New Canaan branch line is the most utilized branch line, so they are pulling to just try to minimize any kinds of schedule changes. But I just wanted to make you aware of that as well right now.”
The New Canaan branch line has been closed since Memorial Day for track work, according to the DOT.
State officials during a July 31 update told the town that branch line restoration is still on track for Labor Day, Miltenberg said. The town had communicated the planned shutdown effectively, evidenced the fact that municipal officials didn’t receive complaints from commuters seeking information.
Parking Commissioner Drew Magratten agreed, saying, “I don’t commute regularly anymore. But when I do, occasionally, I haven’t seen as much chaos as I expected, say at Darien. And I think you guys totally got ahead of it. And it worked out well. So kudos to you.”
Commissioner Nancy Bemis asked whether the town would be responsible for relaying updated information regarding the fall schedule to its local commuters.
Miltenberg said the town wouldn’t put out information unless it’s 100% certain.
“We will definitely, like we did with the shutdown, send out information on when the train line will be resuming,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s up to Metro-North or not, but we are waiting for them. We will do what we need to do to let everybody know.”
Miltenberg added, “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”