Official: Preliminary Numbers on New Busway Show Promise

Preliminary numbers for the first week of central Connecticut's bus-only corridor show an average of 10,344 daily riders.

Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said reliable numbers probably won't be available for a month or two, the Hartford Courant reports. CTfastrak began service March 28.

Backers of the $567 million Hartford-to-New Britain route and its critics are looking for ridership numbers to prove their point -- that the bus rapid-transit system is a success or a costly failure.

Redeker and his team said the numbers so far are impressive and maybe beyond expectations.

"We’re seeing numbers that really at least meet our expectations or are maybe even a little over our expectations for what we’d have once we started charging fares," Michael Sanders, transit administrator for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. said.

Some buses were packed to their full 112-passenger capacity, while others carried just two or three passengers.

Officials said the project is still new and the Fastrak is on track to meet expectations.

"Whatever number we ultimately reach, some people may not be happy.  But we have our goals set," Sanders said.

The state said it's looking to average 11,000 daily riders on the busway's routes in the first year and 16,000 by 2030.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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