Connecticut transportation officials say thousands of passengers are taking advantage of free rides being offered this weekend on a new commuter rail line linking New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Transportation officials say thousands of passengers are taking advantage of free rides being offered this weekend on a new commuter rail line linking New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation issued an advisory on Saturday saying that because of the popularity of the service, passengers should be prepared for standing room only and some might be bumped to the next scheduled train.

By noon, more than 3,000 riders had used the service on its first day of operation.

Two bus companies are also honoring Hartford Line rail tickets this weekend and Amtrak is providing extra service between New Haven and Springfield.

Officials say the new line, with speeds reaching 110 mph, will nearly triple the number of trains that run along the Interstate 91 corridor.