Today, Representatives Jim Himes (CT-04) and Jahana Hayes (CT-05) announced the Western Connecticut Council of Governments received a $400,000 federal grant from the Department of Transportation. The Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant will be used to perform a study on the best method to finance improvements to the Metro-North Danbury and New Canaan Branch Lines.
“Improving Metro-North is essential for our economy and our environment,” said Congressman Jim Himes. “Without efficient public transportation, job creation is hindered and our region’s economic growth is stunted. Plus, a larger Metro-North ridership means fewer cars on the road, cleaner air, and less CO2 emissions. I’m thrilled to see federal dollars invested into Southwest Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. I look forward to working with Western CT Council of Governments in the future to continue to bring federal investments to the district.”
“I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Western CT Council of Governments a $400,000 grant for their Regional Value Capture Mechanism Study,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “The Western CT Council of Governments will be able to dedicate these funds to determine whether a regional value capture mechanism can be used on a regional, multi-jurisdictional level to generate the funds required to support improvements along the Metro-North Danbury and New Canaan Branch Lines in Connecticut.”
“Faster, more reliable passenger rail service is a key for the region but has been held back due to a lack of funds,” said Francis R. Pickering, Executive Director, Western Connecticut Council of Governments. “The goal of the project is to remove this obstacle, developing consensus around an economically sustainable funding model for the Danbury and New Canaan branches, so that vital upgrades to these lines can advance without delay. The project will consider a range of options, with involvement by all currently served on the branch line, as well as communities to which service may be extended (including Brookfield and New Milford).”
According to the US Department of Transportation, this grant will fund the "Regional Value Capture Mechanism Study" along the Metro-North Danbury and New Canaan Branch Lines in Connecticut. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a regional value capture mechanism, such as a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district or comparable mechanism, can be used on a regional, multi-jurisdictional level to generate the funds required to support improvements along the two Branch Lines. The study will include extensive legal, governance, service, and economic analysis to develop a financial and implementation plan. Click here to learn more.