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CTfastrak Enters Operation; First BRT Service in Connecticut

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan and Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker participated in ceremonies March 27 to launch CTfastrak, the first BRT system in the state.

A 9.4-mile bus-only guideway with 10 stations connects Hartford, West Hartford, Newington and New Britain, operating from the state capital into surrounding suburbs. Limited-stop and express buses also use the busway as part of regional service, and circulator buses provide service to nearby locations from each station.

CTfastrak is expected to carry approximately 16,000 riders a day, operating with a fleet of 48 new diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. Benefits of the service include Wi-Fi, off-site fare collection and level boarding platforms.

"With CTfastrak, Connecticut commuters will have another option to beat traffic as localities see new economic opportunities," Malloy said. "We are improving lives, easing congestion and delivering growth in municipalities. ... today's opening is a great start toward creating a 21st-century transportation system."

McMillan said, "Bus rapid transit systems like CTfastrak bring fast, high-frequency service for riders and serve as a catalyst for economic development. We're happy to help bring new transit options to central Connecticut's growing population and the thousands of new bus riders who are expected to use the new service to connect to jobs, education, businesses and other destinations in New Britain, Newington and Hartford."

Redeker said that the opening was a "great first day" during which CTfastrak operated smoothly despite snowy weather. "I talked with a significant number of people who never rode on a bus before today's start of service. I also met many commuters already using the new service to go to their jobs at UConn Health in Farmington, Bradley Airport via the Bradley Flyer and to downtown Hartford hotels and restaurants," he said.

Conn. DOT Transit Administrator Michael Sanders added, "After 13 years of ushering this transit project through its various stages, it's very gratifying to see people on buses enjoying the benefits of bus rapid transit services. As I visited almost all of the 10 new CTfastrak transit stations today, I was thrilled to see so many families and individuals checking out the new transit stations and experiencing the comfortable ride of our new bus fleet--even in the freezing rain and windy weather conditions. Today's response exceeded our first-day expectations."

CTfastrak "Transit Ambassadors" welcomed riders on opening day at the stations, in downtown Hartford and on board the buses.

Service began the morning of March 28 and will continue free through April 5.

Connecticut DOT operates CTfastrak and Connecticut Transit.

 

Holding the scissors to cut the ribbon on CTfastrak service are Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan is next to Wyman.

Photo courtesy of Connecticut DOT

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