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Westport Transit District plans to deploy shuttles to help RR commuters

Updated 6:28 pm, Thursday, September 26, 2013
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The Westport Transit District wants to help ease people's commute to work in the wake of disruption in Metro-North Railroad service by power line problems in New York.

The district plans to shuttle commuters from Westport to a Metro-North station that can take them directly into New York City. With the failure of a Con Edison feeder line, riders heading to New York City from stations east of Stamford have to switch there to a limited number of available diesel-powered trains.

"This catastrophe with the trains could go on for three weeks," said Gene Cederbaum, a WTD director. He said local bus service officials are working out the logistics to re-route its local commuter bus service to provide service out of town.

A power failure sharply curtailed Metro-North rail service from Stamford to New York City early Wednesday, and repairs could take several weeks, officials estimate.

Cederbaum said besides deciding where the WTD buses would pick up passengers and where they would leave them off, "we need to clear with ConnDOT the re-routing of the buses across the state line and into New York," where passengers could pick up service on the railroad's Harlem Line.

He said the WTD is under contract with the Norwalk Transit District, which provides the bus transportation in Westport. He said four buses are dedicated to Westport commuter routes and those would be the buses used for the commute to New York.

He said the goal of the WTD is to have "something in play by Monday."

Shuttle plan updates will be posted on www.westporttransit.org.