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Press Releases

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CTDOT Receives 37 Million in Federal Grants

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today announced that it has received more than $37 million in federal grant awards, which will be used to finance more train service on the Hartford Line, rebuild a railroad bridge in Norwalk, purchase three new buses for the CTfastrak service in central Connecticut, and test advanced technologies on the CTfastrak guideway. In addition, CTDOT and UConn have received a $500,000 research grant to be used to strengthen data-driven measures for highway crash prevention.

“These awards represent very good progress in our efforts to improve service and enhance the customer experience on our bus and rail systems, while also finding new ways to increase safety for all users,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. “I want to thank our federal partners, and our congressional delegation, for supporting our efforts and recognizing the ongoing value of these continued investments in equipment and operations.”

Hartford Line

On the CTrail Hartford Line, between New Haven and Springfield, two additional weekday morning trains will be deployed and a customer service representative will be added at Hartford Union Station using a $4.39 million Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) “Restoration and Enhancement” grant. Beginning June 2021, the new trains will depart New Haven at 7:35 a.m., heading north; and leave Springfield at 9:55 a.m. heading south. The new northbound train will provide commuters with an additional travel option to reach jobs in Hartford before 8:30 am.

Currently, the Hartford Line service, operated by TransitAmerica Services, has eight weekday trains between New Haven and Hartford with three trains continuing to Springfield. Amtrak operates an additional weekday train through this corridor.

Walk Bridge

A “state of good repair” FRA award totaling $29 million has been received as a result of a joint application submitted by CTDOT and Amtrak for the Walk Railroad Bridge replacement project in Norwalk. This 120-year-old movable bridge is a key link on the New Haven Line, which also serves Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor. The current bridge has at times proven unreliable when opening and closing for marine traffic on the Norwalk River below the tracks. The $29 million federal grant will be matched with State of Connecticut funding in the same amount, and will cover Amtrak’s share of the project. This additional federal funding for Walk Bridge is in addition to $160.9 million in federal funding provided through earlier federal grants.

Battery Electric Buses

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded CTDOT $1.93 million to purchase three 40-foot New Flyer battery electric buses (BEBs) to be used on the 9.4-mile CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor in central Connecticut. The project represents the next step in CTDOT’s BEB deployment program with the goal of minimizing emissions and energy consumption of Connecticut’s bus fleet. The new buses are expected to be delivered in late 2021. These three new CTtransit battery electric buses will complement twelve battery electric buses already on order.

Automated Bus Technology

Another $2 million FTA grant was awarded to launch the first automated technology program for buses in North America on CTfastrak. The “Integrated Mobility Innovation” grant will support the development of automated technology to be tested on the CTfastrak bus rapid transit corridor between New Britain and Hartford.

Automated technologies demonstrated will include steering, precision docking at CTfastrak station platforms, and platooning, all of which can enhance service and improve safety for drivers and passengers. The buses installed with automated technology will only operate with the automated technology on the CTfastrak separated guideway and will always have a driver behind the wheel to take control if necessary. An operator will manually drive the buses on downtown Hartford’s mixed-traffic roadways, and precision docking at station platforms will be performed at low speeds. Extensive testing using an off-road test facility will occur first, and then on CTfastrak without any passengers prior to launching the demonstration.

Driver Behavioral Safety Research

Finally, the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTSRC) at UConn and CTDOT are teaming up to build a crucial driver behavioral safety analytics tool – thanks to a new $500,000 research grant from the U.S. DOT to strengthen data-driven countermeasures for crash prevention.

The grant, which will continue the work performed by the CTSRC over the past five years, adds to the modern web-based application, Connecticut Roadway Safety Management System, which implements state-of-the-art practices in roadway safety management.

This system includes tools to help analyze trends in human behaviors, identify vulnerable and target populations, as well as evaluate how effective media and enforcement campaigns are at long-term behavior modification. These tools will help CTDOT become more effective and efficient in reducing serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes.


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