Last week, Hartford, Conn.-based CTTransit dedicated the New Haven Division operations and maintenance center, a 285,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly facility that replaces an obsolete 62-year-old garage.
"In the last six years we have made tremendous improvements in our roads, our rails, our ports and our public transportation network - because our economy depends on movement, whether we are talking about people or products," said Gov. M. Jodi Rell during a celebration at the new facility. "Today, we're focusing on the 'people side,'"
Gov. Rell was joined by Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeffrey A. Parker, who noted that the cost of the project was below under the original budget. The Federal Transit Administration supplied $79 million of the nearly $86 million in total construction costs.
In addition to the impressive facility, the New Haven community will soon benefit from new buses in the fleet. The Governor and DOT officials proudly unveiled the first of 12 "bendy buses" from Nova Bus during the dedication ceremony. The 60-foot, articulated transit buses seat 57 passengers (compared with 38 seats in a standard 40-foot bus) and replace 14-year-old vehicles.
The new buses operate on biodiesel, with fuel economy improved by 6 percent over the older buses, and result in near zero emissions, meeting the EPA's 2010 standards.
The articulated buses will be the first of their kind to operate in Connecticut. As they enter regular service in the next few months, New Haven area customers will appreciate the additional seating, quiet ride and more easily accessed wheelchair ramp. The new CT Transit facility was designed with the operation and maintenance of these larger buses in mind.
The New Haven Division operates a fleet of 114 buses on 24 routes, serving 17 towns throughout greater New Haven. The division employs 280 people.