WEST HARTFORD - Gov. Dannel Malloy rang in the second anniversary of CTfastrak on Tuesday afternoon, pointing to transit-oriented development as evidence of the rapid transit system’s success.
“We’re seeing things happen in this corridor that would not otherwise be happening,” Malloy said of CTfastrak’s influence on economic development in surrounding communities.
Michael Sanders, transit administrator for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, also acknowledged increased business and services in areas around CTfastrak.
“We’ve had a very successful farmer’s market at the New Britain station this year,” Sanders said, speaking of one community connection.
This year marked a big year for the bus rapid transit system as it saw its ridership surpass 5 million passengers.
“That is 5.5 million riders - a number that no one thought we would hit this quickly - in just two years time,” Malloy said. “It’s been huge,” Martin told The Herald.
Malloy gave the green-light for the bus rapid transit system project six years ago and CTfastrak was officially launched March 28, 2015.
“There wasn’t anything like this before it was done,” Philip Fry, assistant manager of planning and marketing for the DOT, told The Herald. “This has turned into a very good program.”
Before CTfastrak, average weekday bus ridership in the corridor failed to reach 10,000 riders. Two years later, average weekday ridership in January was between 16,000 and 17,000 riders. Corridor ridership hit a high in September of 2016, reaching an average of almost 20,000 weekday riders.
One CTfastrak rider, Evan Davis, said he doesn’t use CTfastrak too much but he uses it when he goes into Hartford. Davis said he was meeting a friend in Bushnell Park Tuesday, so CTfastrak was an obvious choice.
“It’s cheaper than driving and paying for parking, for sure,” Davis said.
Jamie Torres from West Hartford said she uses CTfastrak almost every day as a way to commute to work. Torres works in Hartford and the bus rapid transit system provides an economical way for Torres to get to and from work, she said.
“I can’t believe it’s already been two years,” Torres mused.
More information on CTfastrak can be found online at ctfastrak.com.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.