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State Seeks Ideas For Busway Service, Schedule


February 25, 2013

After construction ends, the New Britain-to-Hartford busway will have dozens and dozens of buses running in each direction every day, the state transportation department says.

Precisely where those buses go and when they run is still undecided, though.

The DOT has scheduled two meetings in early March to hear from commuters, shoppers, college students and other prospective riders about the sort of service they want.

Under the current service plan, rush hour service would have buses are often as every 3 minutes. Shuttles would operate between Hartford and New Britain every 12 minutes, and others would run back and forth from Hartford to Bristol, also every 12 minutes.

New buses bought specifically for CTfastrak on those two routes would provide about half of the daily trips on the $567 million busway that's being built, according to the DOT. It has put the latest version of its service plan online at http://tinyurl.com/bj5lxy2 and is inviting public comment.

Meetings are planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 4 at Newington's town hall and on March 7 at the Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford.

CTfastrak is expected to open in about two years, or perhaps a little sooner. Planners will fine-tune the operating schedules during that time, but want to hear ideas now about when and where buses are most needed.

Under the current plan, about half of the service will be Hartford-Bristol and Hartford-New Britain shuttles using 60-foot articulated hybrid buses heavily branded for the CTfastrak operation. Others will be standard CT Transit buses that will get on the busway from existing local and express routes.

In addition, DOT plans to run smaller buses on circulator and connector routes to feed into the main line. One route loops through Central Connecticut State University, another reaches Hartford Hospital and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and others would run through West Hartford and Newington. There also will be service to Westfarms mall and the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The original busway proposal was to run buses from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. But the current plan shows most routes operating only from 6 a.m. to midnight six days a week, with shorter hours on Sundays. Service frequency would drop during off-peak periods and on weekends.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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