Expanded Bus Service Receives Robust Response

President Susan Herbst, left, greets Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, and Gov. Dannel Malloy as they arrive on a CT Express bus at the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center on Nov. 13, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
President Susan Herbst, left, greets Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, and Gov. Dannel Malloy as they arrive on a CT Express bus at Storrs Center. The new CT Transit route between UConn and Hartford has served more than 32,000 passenger trips since its launch in August. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Ridership has surged on the newly expanded bus service connecting Hartford and Storrs, with more than 32,000 passenger trips logged on the CT Transit route since its launch in August, officials announced Monday.

UConn President Susan Herbst, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, state Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, and others made the announcement at the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center in Storrs Center, where the governor and commissioner arrived on the CT Transit service Monday.

The service provides UConn students, faculty, and staff the ability to connect – for the first time ever – to the main UConn campus in Storrs, the downtown Hartford campus, and UConn Health in Farmington via public transit. Its numbers have been strong, with more than 32,000 passenger trips taken since its launch on Aug. 13.

During October, the service averaged 439 weekday trips, 324 trips on Saturdays, and 228 trips on Sundays.

The new route extended the CT Transit route from its previous end in Tolland to continue further east, and added stops at Four Corners, Whitney Hall, and the Storrs Center transportation hub.

“As you can tell from the ridership numbers, this was a service that members of the UConn community had wanted for a long time,” Herbst said. “A reliable, efficient means of public transportation between our state capital and Storrs is a tremendous amenity, and there has never been a better time for it.

“With the opening of our downtown Hartford campus this semester, this new route plays a vital role in the academic and social lives of UConn students, faculty, and staff,” she added. “This service is going to benefit UConn and the region for many years to come.”

Malloy announced the creation last summer of this expanded bus route – the 913 Hartford-Buckland-Storrs Express bus – and said improving connections between campuses within the state’s flagship university, in addition to other destinations in Central Connecticut, is a smart investment in the state’s economy.

“To bolster our future and create a robust economy, we must invest in our transportation infrastructure and our higher education system,” Malloy said. “The collaboration between UConn and the Department of Transportation on this route is noteworthy as it provides students and faculty a much-needed public transportation link between the Storrs campus, the Hartford campus, and UConn Health in Farmington.”

Malloy noted that the new CT Transit route provides the ability to connect to other destinations in central Connecticut, including the upcoming Hartford Line commuter rail system that will launch in mid-2018. That line will provide frequent service between New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield with connections to Bradley International Airport.

More than half of passengers on the expanded Route 913 between Hartford and Storrs over the past few months took advantage of the state’s new U-Pass CT program – a service between the state DOT, UConn, and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system that launched this fall. It allows students to have unlimited use of all public buses and trains within the state if they show their student ID and U-Pass. The costs of the U-Pass CT program are included in their university fees. At UConn, students can order their U-Pass any time to be mailed to them, even if they did not do so at the start of the academic year.

“We are thrilled with the success that we have seen since the launch of this service,” Redeker said of the expanded bus route. “We can also attribute some of the success of the service to the launch of the U-Pass CT program, which makes it easy for students at participating schools to take advantage of our public transportation resources within Connecticut.”

The 913 Hartford-Buckland-Storrs Express bus runs hourly and includes the following stops:

  • Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center, Storrs Center (with connections available there to UConn Transportation for travel around campus, and connections to Willimantic on Windham Regional Transit District buses);
  • Whitney Hall, UConn;
  • Route 195 at Route 44 (Four Corners);
  • Tolland park and ride lot;
  • Buckland Hills Mall;
  • Manchester – Buckland park and ride (Bus Stops A & B);
  • Downtown Hartford at Central Row (a short walk to the UConn Hartford campus, and connections to other local and express bus services)
  • Union Station, Hartford;
  • CTfastrak Sigourney Street station (transfer available via CTfastrak Route 121 to UConn Health in Farmington).

The bus route’s hours of operations are:

  • Weekdays: 5:45 a.m. to midnight
  • Saturdays: 6:30 a.m. to midnight
  • Sundays: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.