New figures from Metro-North rail show the commuter line is experiencing a rare decline in ridership after years of rapid growth. The light blue lines indicate 2008 monthly traffic while dark blue are 2009. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Metro-North graphic
The culprit is a combination of rising unemployment and cheaper gas, according to rail officials and economists.
Passengers on Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line took 14.5 million rides from January through May, 400,000 fewer than in the same period last year, the railroad said.
It was the first decline for that period in more than a decade.
Traffic lights at Lyons Plains and Weston Road in Westport were dark late today as storm-related outages left more than 400 Westport CL&P customers without power. Police, fire and utility crews were kept busy responding to reports of trees down or trees on wires. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Today’s heavy late afternoon rains sent a tree branch crashing into a house on Westport’s Greenwood Lane off Sturges Commons A resident was reading in the den and suffered minor injuries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A large tree branch broke through a roof of a home on Westport’s Greenwood Lane off Sturges Commons today during a heavy afternoon rain storm. A resident sitting in the den where the branch came down suffered minor injuries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Dark clouds moved over Westport in late afternoon today just before torrential rains drenched the area. The rains knocked down trees and sent a large limb through the roof of a home on Greenwood Lane, off Sturges Highway. An occupant suffered minor injuries. View is of the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
A series of heavy rain storms have weighted down trees and branches such as this one at 22 Hiawatha Lane in Westport’s Saugatuck area where a falling branch today pulled down utility cables causing a power outage. Firefighters cordoned off the area until CL&P workers reached the scene shortly after 9 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com