Contact: Paul Griffo
NEW BRITAIN, CT – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced an agreement to provide $275.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration to help build the New Britain-Hartford Busway, Connecticut’s first bus rapid transit system.
"New Britain, Hartford and communities across the country cannot wait for crucial upgrades to the roads, bridges, rail lines and bus routes they depend on every day," said Secretary LaHood. "We need to invest in strong transportation systems to lay a solid foundation for future economic growth."
Riders will be able to board the buses at several stations, and then bypass traffic on I-84 by traveling along exclusive bus lanes to destinations in downtown New Britain and Hartford. The project, which will take roughly two years to complete, is expected to create more than 4,000 construction-related jobs and 100 permanent jobs.
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff signed the full-funding grant agreement during a ceremony at Central Connecticut State University today in New Britain. The grant clears the way for the Connecticut Department of Transportation to begin construction of the bus rapid transit system and covers about half the total cost of the $567 million project. Rogoff was joined by Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, U.S. Representative John Larson, New Britain Mayor Tim O’Brien and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Dan Redeker.
"This forward-thinking transportation solution will change the way Connecticut’s commuters get to work and school, while creating thousands of jobs right now at a time when they are needed most," said Rogoff. "This is a long-overdue project that will help people spend less time sitting in punishing traffic along I-84 and more time at home with their families."
The busway will operate within an exclusive roadway along a 9.4-mile abandoned railroad right-of-way between downtown New Britain and downtown Hartford. The project will offer 11 stations, park and ride connections to other suburban transit service, and 31 new clean fuel buses that will serve the communities of New Britain, Newington, West Hartford, and Hartford, and connect to Amtrak intercity rail service at Hartford’s Union Station.
Residents in surrounding communities will have many options to connect to the busway, including commuter express, shuttle, circulator and feeder bus services. In addition, a multi-use trail will be constructed near the busway along a five-mile stretch between downtown New Britain and Newington, providing pedestrian and bicycle access at five stations.