(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says he wants to explore the possibility of establishing commuter rail service from St. Albans to Essex Junction. Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Douglas said there’s a good chance the project can attract enough riders to be successful. He says the plan has the strong backing of executives at IBM:
(Douglas) “There are a lot of employees who work at the plant who live in Franklin County. Franklin County is one of the fastest growing areas of our state – it’s really booming in terms of population increase, a lot of commuters in the Chittenden County area. So I think that does have potential. The Champlain Flyer – the Charlotte to Burlington route – was not well used, lost quite a lot of money for us while it was operating. That’s why I decided to suspend it earlier this year. But I don’t discount the possibility of rail playing a greater role in the future.”
(Host) Douglas says the St. Albans to Essex Junction commuter rail project could be included as part of the administration’s overall rail transportation initiatives in the future.