Students, employees, and others interested in the possibility of regularly scheduled, easy bus transportation between the Storrs campus and Greater Hartford are encouraged to attend two presentations on the options next week at the Student Union.
Representatives of the state Department of Transportation will present information about possible expansion of the state’s CTfastrak express bus service, including options that would link Storrs with Manchester and Hartford and areas it already serves west of the capital city.
Presentations will take place at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 in Room 106-A of the Student Union, and information will also be available at tables set up in the hallways there between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days.
Members of the public are welcome from throughout the region, and do not have to be affiliated with UConn to attend the presentations or visit the information tables.
UConn officials say the extension of daily bus service to the Storrs campus would provide immense benefits to students and employees, and also help the University attract more potential workers, guests, and other visitors for whom transportation has been a barrier.
“Expanding CTfastrak service to UConn would not only benefit our campus community, but could also encourage more Greater Hartford residents to consider working, studying, and visiting here,” UConn President Susan Herbst said. “This is an idea that deserves our wholehearted support, and is one which we fully endorse.”
CTfastrak, Connecticut’s first Bus Rapid Transit system, is a system of bus routes that use a bus-only roadway for all or a portion of the trip.
Preliminary concepts for service to Storrs include the possibility of CTfastrak buses traveling along I-84 and reaching UConn directly along Route 195; using I-384 and traveling to campus along Route 44; and using I-84 to a stop at the exit for Route 195, where a shuttle would run between campus and that stop.
The connection to Storrs would depend on demand and funding, and could start on a limited basis as soon as this summer if the proposals are pursued.
CTfastrak already has routes reaching from Waterbury to Manchester, and includes destinations such as Westfarms Mall, West Hartford Center, and UConn Health in Farmington. CTfastrak has routes throughout downtown Hartford, and offers direct connections to all other local CTtransit bus routes in the Hartford area.
It also provides connections at Union Station in Hartford to intercity buses, to Amtrak and, in early 2018, Hartford Line CTrail service between New Haven and Springfield.
If the service is extended to Storrs, UConn students and employees would also have easy access to UConn Health and the future downtown Hartford campus, and could reach the Waterbury campus without a car with a connection at the Sigourney Street station in Hartford.
Depending on the route selected, connections may also be possible to points in Vernon and Tolland, if CTfastrak expands to UConn with the option that uses I-84 to the Route 195 exit.