STAMFORD, Conn. -- Jim Gildea, a Naugatuck Valley native and Derby resident, has been elected chairman of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.
Gildea has been on the council for three years and previously served as vice chairman for the past two years. Terri Cronin of Norwalk and John Hartwell of Southport were elected vice chairmen.
The Connecticut Commuter Rail Council is an independent state board that acts as an advocate for commuters on all rail lines throughout the state, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branches, Shore Line East railroad and the Hartford line.
"As the Governor’s transportation plan moves forward, it is an exciting time to serve. I look forward to helping the council fulfill its legislative charge by working with all of the various stakeholders to ensure that the voice of the commuter is heard. As daily commuters, the council has a keen understanding of the issues that the rail commuters within the state of Connecticut face," Gildea said.
Gildea was appointed to the council by Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2012. He is a daily commuter of both the New Haven main line as well as the Waterbury branch line. In recent years, passengers have complained about too few trains between Bridgeport and Waterbury, and unsanitary conditions in rail cars.
In a new release, the council said Gildea "has mobilized legislators and commuters along the Waterbury branch line, and organized commuter forums that have attracted corridor legislators including Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy resulting in much needed attention for that line."
"Being a daily commuter of both the New Haven line and Waterbury branch provides me the unique opportunity to experience the operations and service of two of the rail lines that operate within the state," he added.
In addition to his role on the council, Gildea also serves on the Derby Board of Education (having previously served as chairman for 12 years) and is in executive committee member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and serves as co-chairman of the Board of Directors for the Leadership for Greater Bridgeport.
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