Big changes are coming to Central Connecticut. The federal government is on the cusp of awarding 80% federal funding for the construction of the New Britain-Hartford Busway, and has already contributed over $150 million towards commuter rail service between New Haven and Springfield. Both services should be operating within the next five years.
The Busway and Commuter Rail will transform mobility along the I-91 corridor and the core of the Hartford region. But how can some of the region's outlying communities, particularly the cities of New Britain and Bristol (10 and 15 miles southwest of Hartford, respectively), be served by these two projects and build ridership to someday expand transit in these cities?
RPA's Connecticut Office has released a video, "Transit Solutions for Central Connecticut" that shows how the Busway and Commuter Rail will work together to serve New Britain and Bristol and how rail services can be added to the region as demand for transit grows.
Travel times between New Britain and Hartford will decrease 60% with the Busway, which will also provide a transit alternative for commuters from places farther west like Bristol that would otherwise face congestion on I-84. Feeder routes that will utilize the busway to bypass congestion will also provide a one-seat ride linking Hartford, UConn Health Center, CCSU, Bristol, Waterbury, and other destinations to one another. The Busway will also link riders to the New Haven-Springfield Commuter Rail at stops in Newington and Hartford with service every 3-6 minutes during peak hours.
A potential exists to link Bristol and New Britain by rail to Hartford and New York in the future via an existing rail right of way that connects to the New Haven-Springfield line at Berlin. Travel times from Bristol to New York City using this route will be shorter than from Waterbury because of New Haven-Springfield's straighter alignment.