CTFASTRAK TRANSFORMS TRANSIT IN CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
Launching in early 2015, CTfastrak, Connecticut’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will serve as the "backbone" of bus transit service throughout central Connecticut. The system features the latest technologies and provides an easy-to-use, high-quality transit experience.
The highway system in and around Hartford, Connecticut has long experienced significant traffic congestion. A corridor study determined BRT was the locally preferred, most cost effective alternative to significantly improve mobility needs. CTfastrak is being developed to help manage congestion, facilitate economic redevelopment and promote the state’s smart growth initiatives. "The timing of the CTfastrak launch in 2015 is really perfect considering rising fuel prices and a local economy that is hungry for growth opportunities," said Connecticut Department of Transportation Transit Administrator Michael Sanders.
CTfastrak uses an exclusive 9.4-mile (15 km) dedicated, bus-only roadway between New Britain and Hartford to provide reliable bus travel throughout the greater Hartford region. There are 10 landscaped stations along the guideway, located approximately one mile (1.6 km) apart. The CTfastrak stations were designed and landscaped with the community in mind; they include shelters with seating, bicycle racks, ticket vending machines, system map, and a station area map. The stations’ elevated platforms and state-of-the-art ticketing allows fast, level boarding onto the buses. Using real-time tracking, electronic displays at each station tell passengers exactly when their bus will be arriving. Closed circuit cameras at the stations enhance passenger security.
The CTfastrak buses are low emission hybrid diesel-electric-powered vehicles. Newly purchased Nova LFX articulated buses are the flagship of the CTfastrak fleet, providing frequent shuttle service along the CTfastrak guideway. These buses feature multiple boarding doors, low floors, both rear and forward-facing wheelchair positions and on-board bike provisions. The vehicles provide interior audio and visual announcements to aid riders in identifying the next stop, are equipped with free customer Wi-Fi, and have their own unique interior and exterior branding, distinguishable from the other transit services available in the area.
CTfastrak uses a variety of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology upgrades that are not currently available on the local bus system. This includes an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system and traffic signal preference at the five at-grade intersections along the CTfastrak guideway to reduce delay and improve travel time.
The flexibility of CTfastrak operations allow the transit system to more effectively respond to changing ridership demands. CTfastrak also stimulates economic development. The Capital Region Council of Governments recently completed a TOD market analysis study entitled Making It Happen: Opportunities and Strategies for Transit-Oriented Development in the Knowledge Corridor to assist towns directly affected by CTfastrak in initiating smart–growth policies oriented toward integrating the new rapid transit infrastructure within their communities.
Click here to take a 3D animated virtual tour of the CTfastrak system.
CAPTION: Michael Sanders, Connecticut Department of Transportation Transit Administrator