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New London mayor gathering allies in quest for Amtrak stop at T.F. Green

New London - Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Friday continued to pursue a promise he made last year to look into improving public transportation and met with the mayor of Providence to discuss joining forces make T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I., a Northeast Corridor Amtrak stop.

Finizio and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras talked about a direct air/rail link at the airport that would benefit New London, southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island.

"We had a very productive conversation,'' Finizio said after the Friday afternoon meeting in Providence.

He said Taveras is also in favor of an Amtrak stop at the airport, which already has service into Boston under the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, but was adamant that Amtrak continue to maintain a station in Providence even if it adds one at the airport.

"I agree with his concerns,'' Finizio said, adding that Boston also has an Amtrak station downtown and a stop at Logan Airport.

An Amtrak stop at Green could open up economic development opportunities for the region, Finizio said.

"We could have more conventions, more business development here.

People would be able to fly in and out of Green and have direct rail link to New London," he said.

Earlier this year, Finizio met with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, as well as with several mayors in Connecticut towns along the rail line, to discuss expanding Amtrak service.

"They're interested in making sure federal investments for the Northeast Corridor is strengthened,'' he said. "We all should be collectively lobbying Amtrak to get a permanent station stop at T.F. Green.''

He said he and Taveras agreed to keep the discussion going and work with regional partners.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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