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CTFastrak Will Expand East To Manchester

by | Jun 8, 2015 12:44pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Business, Transportation, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy with Manchester Mayor Jay Moran and East Hartford Mayor Marcia LeClerc

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined the mayors of Manchester and East Hartford in New Britain Monday to announce plans to expand the CTFastrak busway to Manchester.

The new expanded east of the river busway wouldn’t necessarily be a dedicated right-of-way like the 9.4 miles between New Britain and Hartford, but it would use existing high occupancy vehicle lanes on I-84. Malloy said there is money in the new two-year budget to increase operations and maybe build parking lots or stations.

“What we’re announcing is that we’re going to do it,” Malloy said.

Exactly how all the pieces fall together and how long it takes to expand service east of the river is still up in the air.

“I would hope we can begin service relatively quickly,” Malloy said. “Within 12 months is what I want to see happen.”

Manchester Mayor Jay Moran and East Hartford Mayor Marcia LeClerc were on hand Monday for the announcement.

LeClerc said there are 150,000 jobs within a mile of the corridor between Hartford and Manchester, who could benefit from faster bus service.

“A reliable public transportation system plays a critical role in economic development, job creation, and quality of life,” LeClerc said. “Extending the line provides reliable transportation and job access for residents from New Britain to Manchester and all points in between.”

According to a report compiled by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 81 percent of commuters drive their car alone into Hartford every day, while most Hartford residents have jobs outside the city. The Metro Hartford Progress Points report released last April found 65 percent of Hartford residents work outside the city and one of the largest employment areas is retail in and around Buckland Hills mall.

CTFastrak is averaging 14,500 trips daily in the central corridor between New Britain and Hartford, however, that counts the existing ridership of about 8,000 daily and another 700 riders who zip through the corridor on an express bus to Waterbury. The daily weekday ridership of 14,500 in the month of May is higher than the 11,200 daily trips projected in the first year of service.

In the coming days, CTFastrak, which opened by offering free fares for the first nine days at the end of March and beginning of April, will reach 500,000 riders.

There is also a reward program being offered by several nearby businesses. Businesses like the Corner Pug in West Hartford and Black Eyed Sally’s in Hartford are giving riders deals. All the rider has to do is present their ticket to a participating business to get a free appetizer or 10 percent off their entree.

“The new CTFastrak Rewards Program is a smart tool for business owners to attract more attention and customers,” James Varano, owner of Black Eyed Sally’s said. “It’s just one of the many evolving advantages of this new CTFastrak Bus Rapid Transit System.”

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Comments

(8) Archived Comments

posted by: ocoandasoc | June 8, 2015  1:07pm

This part of the Busway will be cost-effective. The other part never will be. And the thing is, this part could have been implemented without wasting hundreds of millions on the Hartford to New Britain end.

posted by: watcherkat54 | June 8, 2015  1:52pm

Well, here we go again, more taxpayer dollars spent on useless projects when we have been taxed to the hilt.  I could see this expenditure if we were doing well fiscally but we are not.  The democrats just passed the second largest tax increase in Connecticut history (because of mismanagement on the part of Dan Malloy and his administration).  Then he (terrible Dan) goes ahead and blames Republicans and prior Governors and this website and the other ctmirror.  Fasttrak is a failure.  We are pouring taxpayer money (federal and state) down the drain.  Thanks Danny, Nanny, Brendan and Marty Looney.  I guess you guys want more people and companies to leave.

posted by: LE 2015 | June 8, 2015  3:31pm

I am very interested to see how much additional revenue is being generated. 8,000 of these riders were already taking the commuter buses. I also wonder if the average includes the riders when the bus was free. I do not believe anything coming from this administration. In 2 years they will be raising taxes again. Count on it.

posted by: One and Done | June 8, 2015  3:39pm

Are we ever going to get real data on the current system that cost $500 million?  Or is Dannel determined to bankrupt us as quickly as possible?

posted by: ocoandasoc | June 8, 2015  10:51pm

One and Done: If the “real” data was any good, they’d already be ramming it down our throats and gloating. But it’s not. And never will be. So let the spin begin.

posted by: Noteworthy | June 9, 2015  4:11am

What will determine whether this is a success is not just the number of riders, but the number of cars on the road - has that number decreased? If there were already 8700 monthly riders, getting to 11,200 or even 14,500 doesn’t seem that much of a stretch does it?

posted by: Bluecoat | June 9, 2015  10:08am

Can we get some information?
How many other Bus routes were diverted to the Busway?
Did the OPM follow through with the Eminent Domain issue of revoking licenses from competing bus routes?
It was reported that this was going to cost a yearly stipend of 12 to 20 million per year. Any data on that yet?
Can anyone confirm that the 14,500 ridership number is accurate, or is it just more fuzzy OPM/Malloy Common Core math???
How much property near transit bus/train stations, will be taken over by the State?
Just heard land in Newington will now be taken over by the State near their Bus Station and this is not sitting well with the locals…..
This is CT’s version of Obama’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act of 2014” that had little fan fare in the National Media, and most fear that HUD will be given the power through Executive Action, rather than through the legislative process, to control how and where people live, ride to work, etc….

posted by: Christine Stuart | June 9, 2015  10:27pm

Christine Stuart

Bluecoat,
That’s a lot of questions. I believe I answered the one about the busway ridership. Take 14,500 and subtract 8,700 and you have your number. As far as the eminent domain legislation for transit oriented development that bill died, but I would be vigilant about the implementer bills to make sure it doesn’t get added there. Hope that helps.
Christine