Tuesday, September 22, 2015
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State Bond Commission next week is scheduled to vote on a $7 million allocation that will allow the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to purchase buses and other capital equipment necessary to expand CTfastrak east of the Connecticut River into East Hartford and Manchester.
The bus rapid transit system currently has ten stations along the 9.4 mile bus-only roadway, which extends between New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, and Hartford, partly along abandoned rail line and existing Amtrak rail line. The planned, expanded service east of the river would utilize the existing HOV lanes on I-84.
"The numbers we are seeing on CTfastrak are surpassing expectations. We're proud of the work we've done, but also know how much more we need to do to transform our transportation system. Extending this service east of the river into East Hartford and Manchester will only open even greater opportunities for people to take advantage of this transit system, in addition to the potential to grow more transit-oriented development opportunities along the line. It's good for jobs, it's a boost for business, and it's a step towards making Connecticut's transportation system best-in-class," Governor Malloy said. "By growing this service east of the river, that means service extensions to Pratt & Whitney and Goodwin College, in addition to many of the other large businesses in those towns. If we want to make Connecticut's transportation system the best in the nation, we need to make these investments now."
Earlier this month, Governor Malloy announced that the current CTfastrak system between New Britain and Hartford reached a major milestone, having served one million passenger trips since paid fair service began on April 6. Overall, the system is averaging 14,000 passenger trips on weekdays, with 9,000 on Saturdays and 5,000 on Sundays.
CTDOT has already begun a feasibility study to determine the best routes for the extended system into Manchester, utilizing a $500,000 allocation that was approved earlier this year by the Bond Commission.
"Service across the Connecticut River is a natural expansion of the very popular CTfastrak system," CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. "Our target for the additional service is late 2016. We are grateful for the Governor's consistent support, leadership and shared vision."
The State Bond Commission, which Governor Malloy serves as chairman, is scheduled to vote on the allocation at its meeting on Tuesday, September 29, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The CTfastrak system provides direct service to and from Waterbury, Cheshire, Southington, Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, Hartford, East Hartford and Manchester with routes that take advantage of the bus-only CTfastrak roadway. It provides a one-seat, no-transfer ride to many major regional employment, shopping and healthcare destinations as well as connections to the New Haven Line-Waterbury branch rail in Waterbury and Amtrak service in Hartford.
For information about CTfastrak, visit www.ctfastrak.com, connect via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ctfastrak or Twitter at @ctfastrak. Route timetables are available at www.cttransit.com under the "Schedules/CTfastrak" tab.