Reform at ConnDOT

TSTC's 2010 Tracking the Dollars report shows that ConnDOT spending on transit has increased since 2000.

After years of pressure from advocates, the Connecticut Department of Transportation adopted a new approach in the late 2000s that emphasized maintenance of existing roads and bridges and expansion of transit service over large highway capacity projects. Unfortunately, one ongoing project, the replacement and widening of the Q-Bridge in New Haven from six to ten lanes, continues to consume much of the agency’s resources.

In 2010, agency spending on transit was nearly 40% of the capital program (up from 27% in 2000) with 54% going to highways and 1.1% dedicated to bike and pedestrian projects. Spending on maintenance and repair has also increased in recent years but highway expansion (mainly the Q-Bridge project) still consumed nearly half of the highway program in 2010.

But things are likely to improve in coming years. ConnDOT Commissioner Joseph Marie called off most of the state’s remaining highway expansion projects, including the construction of Route 11 and the widening of I-84 near Hartford, instead focusing the agency on maintaining existing roads and bridges and expanding transit. After years of delay, the state’s two key transit projects, the New Haven to Springfield commuter rail line and Hartford to New Britatin busway, are moving forward at a rapid pace. The state passed a complete streets policy in 2009 that ensures new and rehabilitated roads are designed for all users and established a Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Board to guide ConnDOT in its efforts to become a multi-modal agency.  The legislation has become a model of good Complete Streets policy both in the region and nationwide.

See Also:

New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail

This ConnDOT project would add commuter rail service between New Haven, CT and Springfield, MA and include new stations in Enfield, North Haven/Hamden, and Newington. The project envisions anything from peak-hour commuter service to a "full build-out" that would add an additional track to the Northeast Corridor in the project service area, allowing for all-day service.

Hartford-New Britain Busway

This 9.4-mile transit facility with 11 stations will connect downtown New Britain and downtown Hartford via a straight, direct, and exclusive facility for buses operating outside the flow of regular traffic. Service on the busway will be very frequent and carry over 16,000 riders a day.


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