Communities across the country are discovering Bus Rapid Transit, a new rapid transit option that combines the speed and passenger amenities of a train, with the flexibility of a bus and includes the latest technologies to improve reliability and provide real-time information for passengers.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems like the CTfastrak system currently under construction between New Britain and Hartford offer a high-quality rapid transit experience, and are gaining in popularity for their ease-of-use, speedy service, and level of passenger amenities. More than 20 regions throughout the U.S. – like Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Miami and Boston – have BRT systems in operation. Many more are under development or in the planning stages.
While all BRT systems have some differences in how they developed and operate, all true BRT’s contain the following major elements.
Running Way/Operating Method
All BRT systems have some form of dedicated or exclusive right-of-way dedicated to bus operations. CTfastrak will use an exclusive, dedicated, bus-only roadway to speed bus travel between New Britain and Hartford. This fully dedicated roadway is the most effective way to provide fast, reliable service by separating buses from mixed traffic. CTfastrak travel time will be competitive with auto travel in the corridor, attracting new riders to the system who might otherwise drive. And longer distance routes in the CTfastrak system can use less congested portions of the highway system while using the CTfastrak roadway for speedier travel in the most congested portion of the trip between New Britain and Hartford.
BRT systems have limited stops along the roadway. Rather than 8-10 stops per mile like on a regular bus route, CTfastrak will have stops approximately one mile apart on the roadway. CTfastrak’s 10 stations will include multiple shelters with seating, bicycle racks, ticket vending machines, maps of routes and the surrounding neighborhood, and landscaping. Station platforms will be raised to allow fast, level boarding onto vehicles. Electronic displays at each station will let passengers know when their bus will be arriving, and closed circuit cameras at the stations will enhance passenger security.
Sixty-foot, articulated, vehicles will be the flagship of the CTfastrak fleet, with a host of passenger conveniences. These include multiple boarding doors, low floors, expedited wheelchair boarding technology, and on-board bike provisions to speed boarding. Audio and visual announcements will aid riders in identifying the next stop. All buses are also equipped with closed circuit cameras. All buses will be connected to the vehicle operations center to assure smooth, on-time operations. Finally, CTfastrak’s super low emission, hybrid diesel-electric vehicles will use less fuel than and produce lower emissions than traditional diesel buses. These comfortable, modern vehicles will be used to operate the frequent shuttle service along the CTfastrak line. CTfastrak services will also use 40-foot transit buses and 45-foot commuter coaches to provide other services that extend along the roadway for part of their route then run on local streets or the limited-access highway system to reach destinations off the roadway. Read more