On Wednesday, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced the arrival of the first of dozens of new New Flyer buses being purchased with federal stimulus funds and put into service for Connecticut commuters. The first buses to arrive are being used on Connecticut Transit (CTTRANSIT) routes in New Britain and Bristol.
"Connecticut is taking full advantage of the stimulus to get our economy on the move — and these buses will begin serving our citizens over the next few weeks," Gov. Rell said at a news conference at the Department of Transportation's CTTRANSIT Hartford Maintenance District facility. "We need attractive alternatives to get solo commuters out of their cars. More people on buses mean fewer cars on the road — and that translates into reduced congestion and cleaner air."
The 35-foot, diesel-powered buses cost approximately $365,600 apiece. The low floor buses provide easier accessibility and have two wheelchair positions. As they are delivered from New Flyer Co. the buses will be road-tested, fitted for fare boxes and radios and then officially accepted for service. The testing and acceptance process takes two to four weeks.
The New Britain/Bristol division has the oldest buses in the CTTRANSIT fleet and so is first in line for replacements. Connecticut received $152 million from the stimulus for transit projects and purchases and is also buying 77 buses for the CTTRANSIT operations in Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury, 28 commuter coaches for the express bus fleet that operates into Hartford and five commuter coaches to run the I-BUS from Stamford to White Plains, N.Y.