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(04/19/16) CTfastrak "East of the River" Transit Study Recommends Expansion of Local Bus Service

CTfastrak "East of the River" Transit Study Recommends Expansion of Local Bus Service

For immediate release: April 19, 2016
Press Release Link

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) today announced plans to expand bus service in communities east of Hartford beginning in August 2016.

The announcement is based upon the initial results of a study on expansion of CTfastrak services by CTDOT. The first phase of the study identified key destinations along with present and future consumer needs and developed three priorities -- expand service on local routes to more closely match the service hours of the CTfastrak Bus Rapid Transit system, improve access to The Shoppes at Buckland Hills and provide a public transportation service between the University of Connecticut main campus in Storrs and the CTfastrak system.

While the long-term goal is to determine target areas for on-street bus rapid transit corridors, the currently recommended increase in local service is a down payment in a phased expansion that will result in improved transit service in east of the river communities. Currently, several CTtransit local bus routes serving east of the river cease operations as early as 7:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5:20 p.m. on Sunday. The transit study’s initial recommendation is to extend the transit service until 10.45 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7:40 p.m. on Sunday on bus routes 82, 83, 84, 88, 91 and 95. If additional funding becomes available, the study recommends expanding existing bus services to the Tolland Park and Ride commuter lot with the possibility of shuttle service to the UCONN campus in Storrs.

The study on CTfastrak expansion will continue in a second phase and will focus on identifying transit corridors for on-street Bus Rapid Transit enhancements such as queue jumpers for buses and traffic signal preference in order to reduce travel time, and transit stations with amenities like real-time bus arrival information to improve the customer experience. Improvements at select park and ride locations could be implemented as soon as 2018.

As part of its regular program, CTDOT began retrofitting existing CTtransit bus fleet with new technologies which will provide consumers with real-time travel information system wide by the end of 2016.