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 its communities.
Michael Sanders, transit administrator for the Department of Transportation, also acknowledged increased business and services in areas around CTfastrak.
“We’ve had a very successful farmers market at the New Britain station this year,” Sanders said.
This year marked a big year for the bus transit system as it saw its ridership top 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 to CTfastrak six years ago and it was officially launched ib 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 was under 10,000. Two years later, average weekday ridership in January was 16,000 to 17,000.
Ridership hit a high in September 2016, averaging almost 20,000 weekday riders.
One rider, Evan Davis, said he doesn’t use CTfastrak much, but does when he goes into Hartford. Davis said he was meeting a friend in Bushnell Park Tuesday, so CTfastrak was the obvious choice.
“It’s cheaper than driving and paying for parking, for sure,” Davis said.
Jamie Torres of West Hartford said she uses CTfastrak almost every day to commute. Torres works in Hartford and the bus provides an economical way for Torres to get there, she said.
“I can’t believe it’s already been two years,” Torres mused.
More information can be found online at www.ctfastrak.com .