Postponed not once but twice because of bad weather, the final CTFastrak Open House went ahead Tuesday in New Britain, at one end of the busway.
Residents who expect to ride the bus say they're looking forward to it.
"I don't drive. I take the bus," said Marcie Cummings, who expects to take the express bus from Hartford to New York. "I always take the bus."
Gov. Dannel Malloy rode a bus from Hartford to New Britain in December, signaling the completion of construction. Officials said under their original timetable, service would have started Feb. 16, but bowing to winter weather, they decided to start on March 28.
Of 150 employees to be hired, 75 percent are already on the job learning, said spokesman Michael Sanders.
"So as DOT goes out and clears the guideway for us of the snow, we are training classes that follow the plows, in order to let everybody get experience riding on the roadway before they're actually in service carrying passengers," he said.
Commuters now riding buses on Interstate 84 will be riding those buses on the CTFastrak busway and, with 60 percent of them using passes, they'll be getting those passes the same way they do now.
But single fares will be available at ticket vending machines in each station, and those tickets must be shown to fare inspectors.
"You don't walk past the fare box on your way onto the bus," said Sanders. "The bus comes into the station, all doors open, everybody gets on or off, so you use the ticket vending machine to buy those single trip tickets – either two-hours pass or all-day pass."