The ribbon has been cut on the state's New Britain to Hartford busway Friday.
A ceremony for CTfastrak took place Friday afternoon at the downtown New Britain station, where Gov. Dannel Malloy and other state officials took the first bus ride.
“With CTfastrak, Connecticut commuters will have another option to beat traffic as localities see new economic opportunities,” Malloy said.
The governor added that CTfastrak will be "improving lives, easing congestion, and delivering growth in municipalities."
"From Waterbury through Hartford to Manchester, and to its connections to air and rail travel, CTfastrak will provide residents and business professionals with a new way to travel between our cities and towns. As we work to transform Connecticut's transportation network with Let's Go CT, today's opening is a great start toward creating a 21st Century transportation system," Malloy said.
Its first major test took place earlier this month with a trial run. Officials sought to look at interaction with traffic and commuters. After that, the $600 million bus line was given the green light.
The CTFastrak will feature 10 new stations along the 9.4-mile bus-only roadway in Hartford, West Hartford, Newington and New Britain,
DOT Commissioner James Redeker said the project was completed "on time and on budget."
“Bus rapid transit systems like CTfastrak bring fast, high-frequency service for riders and serve as a catalyst for economic development,” Federal Transit Acting Administrator Therese McMillan said
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, D-CT, said the bipartisan concept "has become a practical solution."
“Today, we witness the culmination of more than a decade's worth of collaboration, cooperation and execution at the federal, state and local levels. Not long ago, the area where we are standing was an abandoned warehouse. Today, it is the terminus of the nation's newest - and New England's first - Bus Rapid Transit system, and the city of New Britain couldn't be more proud," New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said.
“This is a great day for Hartford, for New Britain and all the communities that are a part of CTfastrak. This will not only improve the lives of Hartford residents who use public transit regularly, it provides options for students at colleges and universities in Hartford and for employees who commute to work here every day,” Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said.
Public service is scheduled to begin Saturday morning with free service for the first nine days. To check out the schedules and learn more information, check out the CTfastrak website here.
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