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Governor Rell Announces Bus Service Expansion

Bus Service to Be Enhanced Across Connecticut Beginning July 1

Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that public bus service will be expanded in transit service areas across Connecticut beginning July 1 – the first system-wide service expansion in years. The service enhancements include more frequent service, extended service hours or added service days on existing routes, completely new routes in areas that had no previous bus service and the purchase of 36 new buses to support the new services.

“I am committed to providing the best possible service for the thousands of commuters who rely on public transportation every day as part of our effort to reduce traffic on our roads and highways,” Governor Rell said, noting that ridership figures on Connecticut bus routes continue to grow. “Every time we can get people out of their cars and onto public transportation, we take another significant step in that direction. The way to do that is to provide attractive, convenient and safe public transit options.

“This initiative is also part of our jobs and economic development plan, because businesses in Connecticut want the best possible service for their employees,” the Governor added. “I want Connecticut to be as business-friendly as possible and providing alternatives to the single-occupancy vehicle helps achieve that goal.”

Connecticut’s bus transit system provides more than 34 million passenger trips each year.

The service enhancements represent the fulfillment of a pledge to enhance bus service that began with the Governor’s 2005 Transportation Initiative which set aside $7.5 million to purchase new buses. The Department of Transportation (DOT) included all public transit operators in the state in a “service development process” to develop a list of opportunities to expand existing services and create new routes. 

With the inclusion of $3 million in new bus operating funds in the Governor’s 2008 budget submittal, final priorities were developed with each operator, and the full package of new services to utilize the available funds was developed by DOT. 

The new services represent a wide range of service types around the state, with an overall goal of improving both the quality and quantity of bus transit available. (A complete list of the proposed new services is contained below.)

As a result of the new services selected, DOT and its subcontractors will be buying 36 new vehicles.  The fleet purchases will include six 60-foot articulated buses, two 40-foot buses, five 35-foot buses, three 30-foot buses, and 20 smaller body-on-chassis vehicles or raised roof vans, for a total of about $7.5 million in new bus “rolling stock.”

“We are pleased to be able to offer this comprehensive package of new and expanded services to our customers statewide,” said DOT Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter. “This is the first system-wide service expansion in many years and will provide the bus system with some of the resources it needs so it can better meet the changing and growing demand for services.”

The Governor noted that ridership on bus systems statewide was up by 5 percent during calendar 2006 and that here is an increasing demand for new and modified bus services to improve access to jobs, to support economic development activities, to provide Commuter Connection buses that better serve the increased levels of commuter rail services, and to support environmental initiatives. 

Some of the listed services utilize existing equipment and will begin on July 1, 2007 when the new state fiscal year budget goes into effect.  Some other services will require new equipment.  Those services will begin when the new vehicles arrive. 

Details of Governor Rell’s Bus Service Enhancements

Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBTA):

  • Shelton Flyer.  Weekday peak period express service between Shelton and Bridgeport.
  • CT Route 110 Local.  Weekday hourly service from the Stratford train station to the Derby train station.
  • Stratford Flex-Route Service.

Housatonic Area Regional Transit (HART):

  • New Fairfield, CT to Southeast, NY weekday shuttle to Southeast station on Metro-North’s Harlem Line.
  • ADA Paratransit coverage for Job Access services on the LOOP route.
  • New Milford LOOP – Evening, Sunday and Holiday Expansion.

GBTA, Milford TD and Norwalk TD:

  • Coastal Link Service Expansion.  Increase Saturday frequency of runs from every 60 minutes to every 30 minutes.

Norwalk TD:

  • Bus Route 3 – US Route 7, Bus Route 9 – South Norwalk, Bus Route 10 – South Norwalk and Bus Route 13 – Connecticut Ave. (US Route 1) – Change frequency of runs from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes.
  • Increase weekday service between South Norwalk RR Station and the Merritt 7 Complex.
  • Greenwich Commuter Connection – Increase weekday frequency to meet more trains.
  • Connecticut Ave. to South Norwalk RR Station weekday bus service.

Southeast Area Transit (SEAT):

  • Redesign Bus Route 8 in Jewett City Monday to Saturday to accommodate service for the elderly, disabled and low-income communities.
  • Increase Mystic-Pawcatuck service on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

CTTransit – New Haven:

  • Route C & D Expansion and Realignment

CTTransit – Stamford:

  • Bus Routes 11 & 41 – Increase passenger capacity between Port Chester, NY and Norwalk via Stamford by adding high-capacity articulated buses.

CTTransit – New Haven:

  • Extend Route C on Saturdays to Kohls in Meriden to connect with the Meriden Saturday flex-route.

CTTransit New Britain:

  • Expansion of the New Britain-Newington BK route Monday to Saturday to serve more employment destinations.

CTTransit Waterbury:

  • Add Sunday Bus Service.

CTTransit Meriden:

  • Saturday flexible route service in Meriden to connect with CTTransit New Haven C Route at Kohl’s in Meriden.

Greater New Haven Transit District (GNHTD):

  • Expand Dial-a-Ride service Monday to Saturday with a flexible deviated route to serve senior and disabled communities in the North Branford area

Northwestern Connecticut Transit District (NWCTTD):

  • Expand Dial-a-Ride to increase service hours and to provide Sunday Service.

Windham Region Transit District (WRTD):

  • Willimantic-Danielson Service – four round trips Monday to Friday.

Estuary Transit District:

  • Flexible route bus service through Old Lyme and East Lyme to meet SEAT bus in Niantic.