CTDOT owns The New Haven Line, which is operated by Metro-North Railroad under contract with the state.
In 2015 the line carried more than 40.3 million passengers, up 2% from the previous year and setting an all-time record. Ridership has risen by around 12% over the last five years, with peak-hour ridership up 27%.
CTDOT commissioner Mr James Redeker noted that the New Haven Line is now carrying as many passengers today as had been predicted for 2021. He added that CTDOT is evaluating the M-8 rail cars for possible use on Shore Line East, the non-electrified commuter line between New Haven and New London, where trains need to be propelled by diesel locomotives. A feasibility study into the electrification of the route is underway.
An allocation of $US 200m will be considered later this month at the next meeting of the State Bond Commission to approve the M-8 purchase.
Metro North currently operates a fleet of 405 M-8s, which entered service from March 2011 onwards. Each vehicle seats 105 passengers.