TRANSIT: In Connecticut, fast-tracked buses try to best the test

$600 million bus line underwent its first major non-rider test this week

Transit News March 13, 2015
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The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Fastrak program, a $600 million bus line, was put through a trial run this week, which began in the town of New Britian.


The Fastrak buses are equipped with free WiFi and GPS tracking, which will allow riders to pinpoint exactly where the buses are in order to plan their commute.


"This is a real-world simulation," said CDOT’s Michael Sanders. "Every bus that will be out between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. this morning is now in position."


This past Tuesday’s trial was about commuters. The line, which goes from New Britain to Hartford, crosses five local streets.


"They'll be running as if this was a normal work day for CT Fastrak," Sanders went on. "All the buses that will be out for a normal work day will be out here [today]. We'll be seeing how the background traffic interacts with the buses and also see how the buses, when they circulate downtown Hartford or head out to Manchester or running down here on the New Britain local streets, how things interact.”


Fastrak stop at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Central Connecticut State University, among other sites. However, they will not be part of Tuesday's tests. While the general public was not involved with this initial test, Sanders indicated subsequent trials would simulate the afternoon rush hour.


"We'll continue training through March 28," Sanders said. "But the 28th is the big day. We'll be starting then very early Saturday morning and running free for the first nine days."


Sanders went on to say the goal of these test runs is to acclimate riders to the serice and allow them to try it at little to no risk.

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