State to Offer Free Shuttles, Enhanced Service to Parks, Beaches This Summer

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Gov. Ned Lamont held a news conference Friday about new free shuttles and enhanced service to various state parks and beaches this summer as well as the kick-off to the summer tourism season.

State officials said ParkConnect will be available to get residents to the state's parks and beaches and more information will be released later.

Officials said this ties in nicely with the "Weekend Wheels" program the governor previously released.

Weekend Wheels

The governor previously announced that the state is going to be offering free bus service on weekends this summer, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend this year.

Weekend Wheels is a fare-free CTtransit bus service and the governor is extending it to include all local transit district bus routes statewide.

Lamont announced plans in March to launch Weekend Wheels as a way to help the state and residents recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will use funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Residents won’t have to pay bus fares on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend and the governor’s office said the fare-free bus service will also include Memorial Day on May 31, the observed Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5, and the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 6.

This applies for all CTtransit local routes, all routes operated by transit districts and Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit services, according to the governor’s office. Private intercity bus routes are not eligible for the fare-free weekend service.

“In addition to offering some economic relief to families that rely on bus service, this fare-free weekend initiative will encourage residents to visit locally owned businesses and help support Connecticut’s economy in communities that have been heavily affected by the economic impact of the pandemic,” Lamont said in a statement. “I am appreciative of the local transit districts that are partnering with the state on Weekend Wheels.”

Passengers will be required to cover their mouths and noses with a mask or face covering while on all buses, whether or not you have been vaccinated.

The governor’s office said passengers should practice social distancing on all buses, at stops, and while entering and exiting the bus and you should also not use public transportation if you feel sick.

To learn more about routes and destinations offered by CTtransit, visit CTtransit.com.

For information about local bus operations, visit CTrides.com or call CTrides during weekday business hours from 8AM to 5PM at 877-287-4337.

A directory of local bus operators in Connecticut is also available on the Department of Transportation website.

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