Could Rapid Bus Service Help Connecticut's Transit Problems?

Feb 15, 2018

Commuter advocate Jim Cameron says it’s time to take a closer look at bus travel in Connecticut. Cameron, with the Commuter Action Group, argued in favor of buses in a recent op-ed for Hearst Media.

Connecticut debuted CTfastrak, the State's first Bus Rapid Transit system, in 2015, running buses from Hartford to New Britain and, later, to the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs. Cameron says since then, college students have started taking advantage of the service.

“They don’t have to worry about being on the highway with a couple of beers in them. It’s like a $1.75 one way. I think that’s finding a very attractive evening audience, over and above the people that choose to use the bus to commute with.”

Millennials are less likely to own a car – and Cameron says Connecticut needs an alternative beyond Metro-North. But some bus lines in Connecticut have seen service reductions due to heavy traffic, especially along the shoreline and in Fairfield County.

“The places buses do well is where they’re not stuck in the same traffic on, like, the Post Road or I-95, as single-occupancy vehicles. This idea of the bus rapid transit system, the dedicated roadway just for busses, is making them a very attractive alternative to being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway.”

The state’s Special Transportation Fund is moving into the red, which could lead to more fare increases and service reductions on both buses and trains. Public hearings start next week on those proposals. Cameron says it’s a good moment for lawmakers to find a way to make bus travel easier for people on the shoreline.