Written by Corey Fyke
The recent 12-day crisis along Metro-North’s New Haven Line didn’t just inconvenience business travelers going back and forth between New York City, according to an Associated Press report — it dinged Connecticut’s Gross State Product to the tune of $62 million.
The report, which cited an analysis by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, also concluded that the disruption caused a net loss of $2.5 million in state revenue and a net loss of worker productivity equivalent to 260 jobs. Connecticut’s gross state product in 2012 was estimated to be nearly $230 billion.
“It reconfirms the point that we’re making of the absolute critical nature of the rail system,” said Joseph McGee, vice president of public policy for the Business Council of Fairfield County. “These numbers illustrate why. This is extraordinary.”
The BCFD is in favor of making massive upgrades to the rail line to enable trains to travel at higher speeds between New Haven and Manhattan.
The report puts the dollar amount of ticket sales lost during the power shortage at $5.3 million, along with costs of $3 million to run extra diesel-powered trains and buses to try and supplement the passenger capacity into and out of the city.
An estimated 62,500 Metro-North riders were affected by the crippling of the line, which was restored to full power on Monday after a new power substation opened in Mount Vernon, NY.