Amy B. Smoyer, PhD

Incarcerated Lives, Health & Social Work

Bus, Train, Taxi, Plane

Baby, I can take you there.

I went to the 2014 Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health in Houston, TX, which was wonderful.  My poster about prison foodways was well received. Excellent. But what I want to share with you right now is how I got there.

I live in New Haven, which has an airport but it's small and expensive; the closest "real" airport is just north of the city Hartford, about 50 miles away.  It has never been completely obvious to me how one might travel from New Haven to Hartford's Bradley International Airport via public transportation.  I have always driven there.  However, last month I had to go to the airport to fly to Houston for this conference and I couldn't use my car (long story, just take my word for it). Pondering out loud how I might get to the airport without a car, my friend Stacy, Queen of the Trains, said to me, "Take the train!"

I had no idea that taking the train was an option.  I thought I would have to get the notoriously unreliable not-so-super Supershuttle ($49+tip).  Happy day, I took the train.  In the post, I lay out the trip's details for my friends in the Elm City or those who might want to visit.  Take the train!

  • 9:15 am     Leave my house and cross the street to wait for the CT Transit city bus.  (Not a lot of advantages to living on one of the city's biggest streets, but this is one of them.)
  • 9:21 am     Bus arrives. This morning's D ride is very crowded and filled with personality.  My suitcase is in the way, but everyone is nice about it. Adult fare = $1.50 (Personally, I think city buses should be free, but that's just me.) 
  • 9:43 am     Get off bus on State & Chapel and walk to New Haven's historic Union Station.  Nice flat walk.
  • 9:51 am     Arrive at the train station.  Read several chapters of The AIDS Generation.
  • 10:30 am   Board Amtrak train departing (on time!) from New Haven to Springfield, MA. Train has a fair amount of people, but is quiet and not too full. I read several more chapters of The AIDS Generation.  Fare from New Haven to Windsor Locks = $17  
  • 11:38 am     Arrive at Windsor Locks (WNL) train station.  The taxi that I had called for 10 minutes before was waiting.  Driver clearly smokes several packs a day, in his taxi. #TBT.  Ride to the airport is 10 minutes and a flat rate of $16.  Plus tip = $20.
  • 11:48 am     Check into flight at kiosk.  No need to park!
  • 12:07 pm     Through security and drifting around airport.

Cost = $38.50
Time = 3 hours (door to door), would have been closer to 2 hours if I had gotten a ride to the train station from my house.

My train trip was clearly less expensive and not that much more travel time than Supershuttle or driving. The trick is really scheduling as this Amtrak train runs only about every 2 hours. The 10:30 brought me in just in time for my 12:51 flight, but there could have been a lot more waiting.  Also, the train station in WNL is just a platform and a big parking lot that is next to nothing so waiting there on the way home could be not great.

Still, good to know, right?  You can take the train to Bradley!