Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as part of his administration’s ongoing efforts to help the state recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is directing CTtransit to provide free, statewide bus service to all customers every weekend this summer beginning Memorial Day weekend and lasting through Labor Day.
The governor said that offering free bus service during the weekends will encourage people in Connecticut to visit locally owned, small businesses and help support the economy in those communities that have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic, particularly within the state’s largest cities.
“To help support our economic recovery from the pandemic, I want to make Connecticut’s many attractions and businesses reachable by as many of our residents as possible, and implementing free weekend bus service this summer – the busiest time of tourism season – will help facilitate that,” Governor Lamont said. “I thank Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for advocating on behalf of our state to ensure that we receive the resources needed to help recover from this pandemic.”
Approximately 20 percent of residents in cities such as New Britain and Waterbury, and around 30 percent of residents in Hartford and New Haven do not own cars and rely on transit, among other transportation options, for mobility.
“Our ability to attract weekend riders through a free weekend-ride program gives our state and our residents an additional boost towards returning to normal,” Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will use up to $3 million that the state received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – also known as the CARES Act – for the service, including accommodating for social distancing on the routes. It will include bus rides on all systems operated by CTtransit. Additionally, the department will work with transit districts outside of the CTtransit system to provide the opportunity to partake in the free weekend program.
In addition to Saturdays and Sundays, the free service will also include the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 31, 2021; the observed Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5, 2021; and the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6, 2021.
To learn more about routes and destinations offered by CTtransit, visit www.cttransit.com.