NEW HAVEN--Jim Cameron is the voice of commuters, having sat on the Metro-North Commuter Rail Council for years, and there are quite a lot of them.
Cameron said, "We're seeing a big increase in ridership." In the last five years, there's been a 2 percent increase in ridership.
Now, the overcrowding may be coming to an end. Rumors indicate Gov. Dan Malloy will approve the purchase of 60 new m-8 cars, at a cost of $200 million. That announcement may come as early as Tuesday, but more space isn't even the best part: 10 of those 60 cars are supposedly bar cars!
The alcohol-selling cars left the fleet in 2014, but they may be coming back.
"I’d imagine if they’re investing in new ones, there was some demand there," Cameron said.
The bar cars are actually part of a bit of nostalgia on the Metro North line; when they left the trains here, they were the last bar cars used on any line, anywhere.
But they were stopped two years ago. So why are they being brought back? That’s the big money question. The rumors circulating also indicate there will be a fare hike discussion at hearings in Stamford and New Haven this week. But that revenue won’t go to paying for the cars -- that will come from taxpayers down the line.
Fare increases according to Cameron will likely go into effect in December.
No indication for when the new cars -- bars, seats and all -- will arrive.