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Hartford's Star Shuttle Spared

State Backs Off Plan To Cut Downtown Bus Service

By Jeff Cohen

October 03, 2011

The state Department of Transportation says it will not make any cuts to commuter rail and bus service. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, that means that Hartford's free downtown shuttle will continue to run.

The Star Shuttle started six years ago. It goes from the convention center to Union Station, and to the city's downtown hotels. But earlier this summer, the state considered scaling the service. Officials said the shuttle doesn't get a lot of regular use outside of conventions and special events.

David Lee runs CT Transit. He says the proposed service changes were part of a package of possible cuts first floated by the administration of Governor Dannel Malloy. But a deal with state labor unions made the cuts unnecessary.

"We're happy to announce that the Star Shuttle will continue exactly as it has been operating for the foreseeable future."

David Panagore is the chief operating officer for the City of Hartford. He praised the state's decision to spare the shuttle, and says it is essential to the viability of the city's downtown.

"The Star Shuttle is something that we need to be working closely with the state on. We need to be working our on messaging and our marketing our outreach an our signage. These are all pieces that we've been working with the state and business community on, and so the Star Shuttle is an integral part of all of that."

Meanwhile, the state said it will begin modest fare increases for rail and bus service -- four percent a year for each of the next three calendar years. Seniors and people with disabilities will be able to buy monthly half-price bus passes.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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