The state Department of Transportation in Connecticut will be holding four public hearings to gather feedback on proposed changes to rail and bus services, as well as proposed fare increases for rail travel. These changes are being considered to better align with current commuting habits and demand.
Proposed bus service changes include the introduction of a new route in the CTtransit Hartford Division, two new routes in the CTtransit New Haven Division, and improvements to service frequencies on two CTfastrak routes. Additionally, adjustments are proposed for eight routes in the CTtransit Hartford Division to better match ridership demand and improve efficiency.
The state budget has allocated funding for bus service improvements across Connecticut, including the addition of Sunday service in Meriden. However, these changes do not require a service equity analysis and are therefore not included in the current proposals.
On the rail side, proposed changes involve reductions in service frequency. For the New Haven Line, Monday through Thursday service would be decreased from 239 trains to 237 trains, and Friday service would be decreased from 241 trains to 234 trains. The New Canaan Line and the Danbury Line would also see slight reductions in weekday service.
Shore Line East would experience a decrease in weekday service from 23 trains to 16 trains. In addition, Train 1640 on Shore Line East, departing at 5:45 p.m. from New Haven, would be eliminated, resulting in a three-hour gap in service.
The proposed fare changes include increases for Metro-North fares in Connecticut, Shore Line East fares, and Hartford Line fares. It’s important to note that these fares have not been adjusted in several years.
To gather public input, the Department of Transportation will be hosting in-person hearings in Hartford and New Haven, as well as virtual hearings via Zoom. The public comment period is open until October 6, 2023.
The agency emphasizes the importance of public input to ensure the development of a safe and accessible public transportation system in Connecticut. Detailed information on the proposed changes can be found on the official website of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.