CTfastrak is Connecticut’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. It's opening in early 2015.
This is the kind of transit that makes active transportation--biking and walking--much more feasible for thousands of people who live and work in central Connecticut. This state-of-the-art transit system will take advantage of a bus-only, traffic-free roadway, avoiding traffic on I-84.
Click below to take a virtual tour of CTfastrak and its companion 5-mile multi-use path.
A new CTfastrak bus was unveiled during a ceremony at the State Capitol on Monday. The ceremony was followed by a transit-oriented development tour of the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system.
During the ceremony, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said: "CTfastrak, along with the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Program, will create opportunities for mixed-use transit-oriented development along two of the state’s most populated corridors, linking existing neighborhoods to employment centers. These transportation systems unlock the potential for TOD development that can support the creation of housing choice and vibrant commercial centers that allow residents to work, play, and shop without the need of a car."
The bus that was unveiled will be part of a new fleet of hybrid diesel-electric buses that will begin operating in central Connecticut in early 2015. The buses will include 30-foot buses to provide neighborhood circulator service and 40-foot buses to operate connector routes. The main line service will be operated with 60-foot articulated buses that will begin to arrive in the fall. All the new buses will feature GPS tracking so riders can find out where their bus is, LED lighting and free WiFi service.
Following the CTfastrak bus unveiling ceremony and press conference, officials took a transit-oriented development tour of the CTfastrak guideway. The tour began at the CTfastrak Downtown New Britain Station and followed the guideway through Newington, West Hartford and into Hartford.
Bike Walk Connecticut joined other advocates today on board a bus to tour the CTFastrak route and stations as they ready for service early next year. Fastrak, Connecticut's first bus rapid transit system, will serve as a major connector between other bus routes and offer an option to sitting in traffic along I-84. And you'll be able to bike to it, walk to it,
It may have taken over a decade to go from concept to shovels in the ground, but now that construction has started the project is humming along. The stations that are sprouting up are fairly easily seen from the road, but it was good to get an up close look at them.
Yes! There are bike racks at the stations. Yes! CTFastrak will have inside boarding for bikes. Yes! There really is a multi-use trail from New Britain to the Cedar Street Station. Yes! Service really will be rapid, with buses coming every 7.5 minutes or more frequently during peak hours.
Thanks to the CT Fund for the Environment, the Transit for Connecticut Coalition, and DOT for organizing the tour.
Monday evening the CTDOT officials provided two detailed plans to restore the pedestrian/bike walkway over Flower Street in Hartford.
According to the Hartford Courant, one plan contains a skywalk that would start at the corner of Flower Street and Capitol Ave. It would be a 900-foot sloped walkway that would have illuminated handrails. The cost would be $11.3 million and $12.4 million.
The second plan is being dubbed the elevator plan, which would start near the rear entrance of The Hartford Courant building. It would include a 12'x12' elevator for cyclists and people with disabilities and a large stairway for pedestrians. This would cost $7.6 million to $9.7 million.
Read the full article here.
The City of New Britain has been awarded a $3 million grant for improvements in downtown New Britain at Columbus Blvd., Main St. and Bank St.
According to a news release from the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency (CCRPA), the project help enhance the connection between downtown New Britain and the CTfastrak bus station.
The project includes a redesign of intersections, bike lane additions and the upgrading of sidewalks. These improvements are based on the recommendations of the City's Complete Streets Master Plan for Downtown New Britain.
Read more here.
During a public meeting last week at Central Connecticut State University, CTfastrak designers said when the bus service starts in 2015, riders will receive a wide variety of amenities.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, amenities on the new bus line will include digital signs above station platforms, rapid-style loading and unloading from front and rear doors, onboard electronic signs and recorded announcements to tell riders which station will be next. Commuters will also be able to use the CTfastrak web site to plan trips, including connections in Waterbury, New Britain, Hartford or the Amtrak service in Hartford and Metro-North trains in Waterbury.
The web site trip planner will track buses by GPS which will help commuters receive up-to-the-minute travel time details.
During the presentation last week, engineers told attendees the construction of the route linking New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford is on track to start service in February 2015.
CTfastrak is bus rapid transit. Transit goes hand-in-hand with bikeable, walkable communities.
(Newington, CT) -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation will be holding a series of Open House meetings to update the public on the construction and service plan progress of CTfastrak, Connecticut's first bus rapid transit system, scheduled to begin operations in early 2015. The meetings are free and open to all members of the public.
During the planning stage, CTfastrak was known as the New Britain-Hartford Busway. The project includes 11 transit stations in New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford with buses running every three to six minutes during peak commuting hours.
When CTfastrak opens for operation, some bus routes in Bristol, Plainville, New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, Cheshire, Southington, Waterbury and Hartford will change and most will have much more frequent service.
The public is invited to learn more about CTfastrak and share what is important to them and help design a transit system that will efficiently serve their travel needs. For those who are unable to attend in person, comments on the service plan can also be made via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next CTfastrak Open House events will be held on the following dates and venues:
Central Connecticut State University
Friday, November 15, 2013
11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.
Frank Diloreto Hall, Room 001
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT (map)
Elmwood Community Center
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
5 to 7 P.M.
1106 New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT (map - Please note that entrance is via South Quaker Lane and then to Burgoyne Street. Directions here)
Individuals requesting language assistance or accommodations due to a disability should contact the Connecticut Department of Transportation communications office at (860) 594-3061. For consideration, requests should be submitted five working days prior to the event. The department will make every reasonable effort to provide assistance when possible.
For more information: Judd Everhart email@example.com 860.594.3062
During a public meeting on July 16, CTfastrak engineers said they plan to build a new overhead passageway for pedestrians and bicycle riders over the busway on Flower Street in Hartford. The plan is to have the passageway done by 2015, when the busway goes into operation.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, during the meeting, Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said, ""We're not changing a decision that's been made, and we're not changing the busway. We'll try to do the best job we can."
Last winter the DOT suggested a 110-foot bridge, connected by two sets of multiple switchback ramps be installed at the location. The cost of the structure would be approximately $4 million. Residents criticized the structure as too expensive and unattractive.
During the meeting on July 16, CTfastrak engineers said they are open to other design plans, and they will try to incorporate the ideas they heard during the meeting.
Some suggestions heard during the meeting included an elevated sidewalk rising from Capitol Ave that would gradually rise above the crossing.
The Courant article notes, the DOT plans to permanently close off pedestrian access at Flower's railroad crossing around October 1, 2013 to clear the area for busway construction. Simultaneously, the agency expects to open a new pedestrian pathway linking Flower Street to Broad Street, which runs parallel about a block to the east.
Bike Walk Connecticut Board Member Chris Brown was mentioned in an article posted on the CT News Junkie website. He attended and spoke at the July 16th meeting. Read the full article here.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and Governor Dannel P. Malloy launched a strategic planning approach to transportation policies, programs and projects called Transform CT.
According the Governor’s office, Transform CT will help improve economic growth and competitiveness, build sustainability, and provide a blueprint for a world-class transportation system.
“Transportation is the backbone of our economy,” said Governor Malloy in a press release. “The movement of people and goods, facilitating commerce, and bolstering tourism all depend on a highly functioning transit and highway system. Transform CT will help define the very future of Connecticut through a stakeholder process that will solicit input from residents and businesses about what works and what doesn’t in our multi-modal system. The complexities in transportation are enormous, but this process will help us plan for a more sustainable, more efficient future.”
Through a series of public meetings, focus groups and surveys, DOT will engage businesses, elected officials, transportation advocacy groups, and other organizations and agencies as part of the Transform CT planning effort.
“It is essential that we continue to improve transportation options and service in Connecticut,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “This is a strategic approach to connecting our cities and towns and, most importantly, it gives the public a direct role in the process and the product. Improving our transportation system also makes Connecticut a more competitive, sustainable and livable state.”
As part of the public outreach campaign, www.TransformCT.org was launched to offer residents a place to comment and share ideas on the transportation issues facing Connecticut. Visitors can also sign up to receive updates and public meeting schedules.
Public meetings are scheduled to begin this fall. The first report will be released by February 2014.
Visit www.TransformCT.org today to provide your own input.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will hold a series of public meetings to hear your ideas to help refine the CTfastrak service plan.
DOT will also provide an overview of the CTfastrak project and its construction status. The draft service plan is available here.
CTfastrak Service Planning Open House Schedule
Please join DOT at any of these locations and share your ideas!
Newington: Mon, March 4, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Newington Town Hall, 131 Cedar Street, Newington, CT MAP
West Hartford: Thurs, March 7, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, CT MAP
Bristol: Mon, March 11, 2013, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Bristol Public Library, 5 High Street, Bristol, CT MAP
CCSU: Tues, March 12, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
CCSU Student Center, Alumni Hall, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT MAP
New Britain: Wed, March 13, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
CCSU Institute of Technology & Business Development, 185 Main Street,
New Britain, CT MAP
Hartford: Tues, March 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT MAP
Hartford: Tues, March 19, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT MAP
Or, comment by email:
Your comments on the service plan are also welcome by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send general questions and comments to email@example.com. If you submit comments, please email a copy to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is working to inform local residents of current and upcoming activities through announcements such as this, as well as the CTfastrak Web site. For more information, visit: www.CTfastrak.com
If you have any questions related to construction, please send an e-mail to Construction@CTfastrak.com
To register for free electronic notifications of highway & rail incidents from CTDOT statewide e-alert system, visit www.ct.gov/dot and click on “Sign Up for E-Traffic Alerts”.
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