CTfastrak tests routes ahead of debut

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HARTFORD – The CTfastrak buses are on the road from Hartford to New Britain but it’s only a dress rehearsal.  Service for paying customers is starting March 28, but testing started on Tuesday.

About 50 buses deployed from the New Britain station Tuesday morning, simulating the exact routes and traffic patterns they will encounter later on.  Drivers used radios and time arrival systems to time out routes in real-time traffic.

The CTfastrak will connect Hartford and New Britain via a 9.4 mile route, bypassing traffic on the I-84 corridor. It will provide frequent daily service and run from around 5 a.m. to around midnight, Monday to Friday.  Weekend service will start a half hour later and run to around midnight. The buses have free Wifi and include bike racks and wheelchair access. Along the route are 10 stations, and the service will provide access to employers including Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, CCSU and UConn’s Health Center through connected bus routes.

Construction first started on the project back in 2012 and is being built by the Department of Transportation. Michael Sanders, the Transit Administrator with the DOT said, “It will help with mobility overall. Not just attracting people off of I-84, but maybe as new people move into the area they won’t need as many cars in their household. We are really looking at this for its travel alternatives and options for folks.”

Another testing will happen Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. prior to the March 28 debut.

For other stories on CTfastrack, go here.