The state plans to extend CTfastrak bus service east of the Connecticut River, into East Hartford and Manchester and the State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote next week on a $7 million allocation.
Those funds would allow the Connecticut Department of Transportation to buy buses and other equipment necessary to expand the service, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office.
The 9.4 mile bus-only route runs between New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, and Hartford and includes 10 bus station. The expansion would include using existing HOV lanes on Interstate 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,” Gov. Malloy said in a statement. “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.”
According to the governor’s office, the system is averaging 14,000 passenger trips on weekdays, with 9,000 on Saturdays and 5,000 on Sundays.
The state Department is working on a feasibility study to determine the best routes to extend into Manchester, funded by a $500,000 allocation the bond commission approved earlier this year.
“Service across the Connecticut River is a natural expansion of the very popular CTfastrak system,” State Department of Transportation 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 is scheduled to vote on the allocation at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The CTfastrak system currently provides direct service to and from: Waterbury, Cheshire, Southington, Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com