Governor Ned Lamont today announced that ParkConneCT, a pilot program launched last year that offers fare-free shuttles and enhanced existing transit service to various Connecticut state parks and beaches, will continue during the summer of 2022, launching on Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 28, 2022) and lasting through Labor Day (September 5, 2022).
ParkConneCT aims to connect people to Connecticut state parks and beaches during the summer months to support seasonal employment and promote recreational activity. It is a collaboration of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).
“Our state parks are one of the best things about living in Connecticut, and connecting our residents to them is important,” Governor Lamont said. “The ParkConneCT program increases access to the physical, mental, and educational benefits gained from spending time outdoors in these beautiful spaces. It can also help people who have seasonal employment with DEEP get to their workplace. I encourage residents to utilize this service and spend time in our parks this summer.”
“So many people have discovered or rediscovered the state parks over the past two years, drawn to the beauty as well as the positive physical and mental benefits being in nature provides,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Unfortunately, transportation access can be a barrier that keeps many people from being able to access these wonderful places. This program makes it easier for people to have a fun, rejuvenating recreational experience in some of the most beautiful settings in our state, and it can also serve as a transportation option for some of our valued seasonal staff. Thank you, Governor Lamont and our CTDOT partners for the vision and collaboration on this program.”
“We’re pleased to once again support ParkConneCT this summer season,” CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “From buses to shuttles and trains to trolleys, there are many modes of transportation that get people where they need to be safely and efficiently. Providing fare free services for the ParkConneCT program helps expand access to these beautiful parks and beaches for residents across Connecticut.”
All buses associated with ParkConneCT will run fare-free from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day (May 28, 2022 to September 5, 2022). Additionally, as part of the fiscal year 2023 budget, all buses statewide will operate without collecting fares until December 1, 2022, with the exception of premium on-demand ridesharing programs. Wheels 2U and Valley Transit District’s on-demand ridesharing services will only be free on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays observed on May 28, July 4, and September 5, when using the service to or from parks in the ParkConneCT program.
The parks included in the ParkConneCT pilot program are:
- Fort Trumbull State Park
- Hammonasset Beach State Park
- Indian Well State Park
- Osbornedale State Park
- Sherwood Island State Park
- Silver Sands State Park
- Sleeping Giant State Park
The state parks for this pilot program were selected based on criteria prioritizing seasonal employment levels, recreational summer activities, frequently traveled tourist destinations, and existing service connections. Routes were selected by performing an analysis using geospatial information systems and prioritizing areas where the most cost-effective improvements could be made to connect people to the parks.
For more information on ParkConneCT, visit portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Park-Connect.
DEEP continues to hire for seasonal positions at beaches, campgrounds, parks, forests, and boat launches. Positions are available in lifeguarding, customer relations, facilities and grounds maintenance, environmental conservation and education, office administration, and more. Those interested in lifeguard positions should apply by June 17, 2022, at portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/Seasonal-Employment/Lifeguard-Program. To explore all seasonal opportunities at DEEP, visit portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Outdoor-Recreation/Work-Outdoors.
ParkConneCT Service Schedule
Hammonasset Beach State Park (Madison)
Silver Sands State Park (Milford)
Fort Trumbull State Park (New London)
Sleeping Giant State Park (Hamden)
Sherwood Island State Park (Westport) New Service!
Osbornedale State Park (Derby) and Indian Well State Park (Shelton) New Service!