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CT Transit Service Expansion Effective August 22nd, 2021


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There's tons of changes for all of these regions, but I'm just listing the ones that stand out to me.

New Haven-area routes (Offhand, the big thing that stands out is evening service on the #229 Waterbury - New Haven route, and more midday service added to the #950, along with cross-honoring with the Hartford Line and a stop added at the Meriden Transit Center)

Hartford-area express bus routes (The #924/925 will be replaced with the #928 during rush hour, Hartford-Providence service resumes, #905 gets three weekend round-trips instead of one)

Hartford-area local bus routes (Downtown-area shuttle resumes, new #24 from Windsor/Windsor Locks to Bradley International Airport)

 

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There's actually quite a bit going on with the CT Transit Express buses in the Hartford Division. 

One of the biggest changes is that Peter Pan will now honor and accept CT Transit fares/tickets (including the GO card and UPass). This means that service can be expanded on some express routes simply by having those buses make additional stops and charge CT Transit fares. Relevant trips will be noted in timetables.

There's also a reallocation of resources because of buses freed-up now with the Peter Pan - CT Transit cross honoring, plus with some other consolidations that are occurring. 

The list below is not a full list. It does not include any minor trip modifications, but it includes service additions, eliminations, nomenclature changes, and route changes. 

Routes Discontinued:

915, 917

Summary of Changes:

901 - Some trips will be eliminated and replaced by 926/927 buses making similar stops, some route changes.

902 - Corbins P & R service discontinued.

903 - Route will be consolidated with 917, trips to/from Vernon designated 903B.

904 - An new early morning AM trip to Hartford will be added at 6:11 AM

905 - The 905E, 905W, and 915 peak routes will all be consolidated. Buses will now serve Windsor Locks and Enfield Square (every 20 minutes), with some service deviating to Poquonock P & R (current 915 service). Weekend service expanded. The AM trip to Hartford to Enfield via US Route 5 will be partially replaced by a 96E trip. 

906 - Some trips will be consolidated with 919 buses to/from Cromwell P & R.

912 - All service operates towards Granby (previously some midday service terminated in Simsbury). All reverse peak service which previously charged local fares will now charge full express bus fares. 

913 - Some buses will now stop in Vernon to compensate for 917 service (see below). Most UConn Class Only Day express service will be eliminated (replaced by Peter Pan). Two trips from UConn in Storrs will operate towards New Haven via the 950 south of Hartford (no transferring required).

914 - The 914C and 914M designations will be dropped, as all trips will serve Marlborough and Colchester.

915 - Route eliminated, replaced by 905 bus service.

917 - Route eliminated, replaced with select 903 buses to/from Vernon.

918 - Early morning, midday, and reverse peak service to Hartford has been added at 6:15 AM, 1:45 PM, and 5:45 PM respectively. All these new trips plus the existing 12:20 PM from Hartford will stop at Manchester Green. Additional weekday and new weekend service will be provided on this route through Peter Pan's Hartford-Providence Service. 

919 - All Service will now serve Country Club Rd (replaces 950) & Cromwell P & Rides (replaces select 906 trips). Service along Main Street in Meriden will be discontinued. One additional round trip from to/from Cromwell and Meriden will be added. 

921 - New early AM, Midday, and reverse peak PM service to Hartford will operate at 6:00 AM, 1:37 PM, and 5:37 PM respectively. 

923 - Midday Service will be discontinued, the 102 duplicates the entire route and serves as a replacement. 

924/925 - Service consolidated with the 928 bus. 

928 - Service will now operate during AM/PM peak hours every 30 minutes, some stop zone changes. Off peak service now operates every 90 minutes instead of every 60 minutes. 

950 - All trips will now make an added stop at Meriden Transit Center (with the 919 bus). Stop at Country Club Road P & R will be eliminated, as the 919 will now stop there. Three round trips will now operate during middays (sounds like hourly service more or less). Buses will also now cross honor all CT Rail Hartford Line tickets (except 10-ride tickets) at no charge.

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Given how in many areas, the express buses also double as the sole transportation option between two non-CBD locations and/or the sole regional transit option in an intermediate area, it's about time a lot of these routes got enhanced spans of service. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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My guess is with the hybrid/remote schedules starting to become permanent by employers, that's where those rush hour consolidations come into play, and then being able to reinvest those savings into off-peak service.

Just a quick summary of the service levels offered on these routes (8/22 changes noted in red italicized text)

#901: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday trip (Reduced to 1 AM and 1PM trip in each direction)

#902: AM/PM bidirectional service (Reduced to 1 AM and 1PM reverse-peak trip)

#903: AM/PM peak direction service (basically, a #913 short-turn) (No info on 8/22 schedule)

#904: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday outbound #904/914 trip (First AM #914 trip will divert to Glastonbury)

#905: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday round-trip, one weekend round-trip

#906: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday round-trip (Midday round-trip replaced by #919 trip)

#907: AM/PM peak direction service (Reduced from 4 trips to 3 trips per direction)

#909: Two peak direction trips and one reverse-peak trip (Reverse-peak trip leaves later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon)

#910: AM/PM bidirectional service, 3 trips each way

#912: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday round-trip, one midday short-turn to Simsbury  (Simsbury trip extended to Granby)

#913: All day service, 7 days a week

#914: AM/PM bidirectional service, one midday round-trip 

#915: All trips are #905 trips diverted to Poquonock Park & Ride

#917: AM/PM peak direction service and two outbound trips combined with the #903

#918: AM/PM peak direction service and one outbound midday trip. (One reverse-peak trip added in each direction, and midday inbound trip added)

#919: Two peak direction trips (Midday round-trip added). Service terminates at Bee Street Park & Ride. For service to Downtown Meriden, use the #950 or Hartford Line

#921: AM/PM peak direction service and one outbound midday trip. (One reverse-peak trip added in each direction, and midday inbound trip added)

#923: AM/PM peak direction service, one midday round-trip, and additional midday outbound trip. (Midday service eliminated)

#924/925/928: The #924/925 divide up the #928 route during rush hours/peak direction, with the #924 being a short-turn to Cheshire and the #925 bypassing Cheshire (#928 service pattern operates at all times)

#926/927: Two peak direction trips, one midday outbound combined trip (One reverse-peak trip added per route, midday outbound trip makes return inbound trip to Hartford)

#950: AM/PM peak direction service, one midday round-trip (My guess is service will run roughly every 2 hours during middays. For a lot of routes, they have an outbound trip in the 12pm hour and the 2pm hour)

Edited by checkmatechamp13
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The 901/926/927 timetable resembles that of the covid schedule last year, more or less. Ironically, more service was provided with that timetable past Avon on the 926 and 927 with the midday trip. Nevertheless, it's an addition that's good coverage bus, that wasn't initially mentioned in their last of changes.

The last weekday trip from Waterbury on the 928, which connects to a Metro North train, is getting cut, meaning that it's essentially a 3 hour service cut for anyone using the bus past Waterbury on the 928 route. 

The last 923 bus from Hartford is also being cut (with the 102 being the replacement).

The 950 trips are roughly spaced every 90 minutes (approximate).

They might be taking longer with the 913/918 schedules because they're probably adding the Peter Pan bus info in (or figuring out how to display it or something).

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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Nice catch on the documents, and it looks like most of the schedules are now updated. The 903/913 is still not updated, and the 905 map redirects to the 903/913 map. I still like the old schedule format better IMO. 

For the express, I still think there could be some additional improvements that wouldn't be too expensive to implement. In particular, the 921 for example should be structured to serve more of Middletown (besides just the Silver Street Park & Ride). The 55/55X goes there, but even the express version is much slower than the 921. Coverage wise, I think it's a good route (and I for a while thought that it should serve more than just traditional 9-5 commuters). 

What I had in plan was basically have inbound buses towards Hartford take Silver Street to Main Street, then head up Main Street to CT-17/St. John's Square, and then get on CT-9 that way. The catchment area increases, and you would provide easier access to Middlesex Hospital, and Wesleyan University, in addition to Downtown Middletown. Outbound buses would have to make an extra pair of turns to get to Silver Street (since it's one way westbound between Main Street extension and East Main Street). 

There would be added stops at:

  • Main Street & Green Street
  • Main Street & Washington Street
  • Main Street & Williams Street
  • Main Street & Crescent Street (Middlesex Hospital)
  • East Main Street & Cooley Ave (towards Old Saybrook)
  • Main Street Extension & Cooley Ave (towards Hartford)
  • Silver Street & Wall Street
  • Silver Street & Allison Street

 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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@BM5 via Woodhaven You're welcome, anytime!

As for the #921, the only thing I'd be a bit wary of is that it doesn't seem like the #55 has too many ridership generators between Middletown & Hartford (and the #644 has even fewer between Middtown & Old Saybrook). So I'd be careful with how the #921 is scheduled so supplements those routes and fills in the gaps in the schedules, rather than showing up first and taking all of the riders (For example, I'd try to adjust the schedules so you don't have both the #55 and #921 leaving Downtown Hartford at 6am).

Also, on a separate note, the new express bus map is out (I didn't realize they cut the #904 back from South Glastonbury) and they have a new article discussing the new express bus timetable format.

Back to service-related proposals, I wonder how a #903 extension to Stafford Springs would perform.

Also, here is a transit study in the Lower Connecticut River Valley which basically recommends merging the Middletown and Estuary Transit Districts. In the study materials, they have route profiles for all of the routes (ridership by stop and by trip) as well as proposals for them (Estuary Transit District and Middletown Transit District as well as a full report which recommends things like Sunday service and timed pulses)

Edited by checkmatechamp13
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Another proposal, route the #928 via Main Street in Southington (adds about 6 minutes of travel time). Possibly continue up Main Street to Plainville (adding about another 5-6 minutes). If the added travel time is an issue, alternate #928 buses can bypass Southington/Plainville (Off-peak service should be increased back to hourly). 

Additionally, coordinate the schedules of the #102 and #502 to provide approximate 30 minute off-peak headways between Bristol & New Britain.

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On 8/17/2021 at 12:01 AM, checkmatechamp13 said:

@BM5 via Woodhaven You're welcome, anytime!

As for the #921, the only thing I'd be a bit wary of is that it doesn't seem like the #55 has too many ridership generators between Middletown & Hartford (and the #644 has even fewer between Middtown & Old Saybrook). So I'd be careful with how the #921 is scheduled so supplements those routes and fills in the gaps in the schedules, rather than showing up first and taking all of the riders (For example, I'd try to adjust the schedules so you don't have both the #55 and #921 leaving Downtown Hartford at 6am).

Also, on a separate note, the new express bus map is out (I didn't realize they cut the #904 back from South Glastonbury) and they have a new article discussing the new express bus timetable format.

Back to service-related proposals, I wonder how a #903 extension to Stafford Springs would perform.

Also, here is a transit study in the Lower Connecticut River Valley which basically recommends merging the Middletown and Estuary Transit Districts. In the study materials, they have route profiles for all of the routes (ridership by stop and by trip) as well as proposals for them (Estuary Transit District and Middletown Transit District as well as a full report which recommends things like Sunday service and timed pulses)

Yeah, since that 6:00 AM 921 from Hartford has a 32 minute layover in Old Saybrook, that could be pushed back 10-15 minutes (with a decent layover in Old Saybrook). 

As far as that study is concerned, what I don't necessarily agree with is the 644 and 645 proposals. Point-to-point routes in areas with relatively low density wouldn't save that much time, and just aren't ideal because they skip a lot of potential ridership. On top of that, that proposal makes the 644 mimic the 921 more or less. I think the current setup is fine.

For the 645, their justification that the 641 serves Madison instead doesn't take into account anyone using the 645 from points north or west (and anyone trying to connect with the 641). 

On 8/22/2021 at 1:58 AM, checkmatechamp13 said:

Another proposal, route the #928 via Main Street in Southington (adds about 6 minutes of travel time). Possibly continue up Main Street to Plainville (adding about another 5-6 minutes). If the added travel time is an issue, alternate #928 buses can bypass Southington/Plainville (Off-peak service should be increased back to hourly). 

Additionally, coordinate the schedules of the #102 and #502 to provide approximate 30 minute off-peak headways between Bristol & New Britain.

That shouldn't be a problem with the 928 on weekdays, on weekends there might need to be some slight schedule changes in order to continue ensuring a decent layover at Waterbury + adequate time to make the train there. 

With the 102, I would take it a step further and merge the 502 with the 102. The 102 would be making a few more stops west of New Britain Station, but essentially there would be 30 minutes service to Hartford every day during off peak hours (and 20 minutes headways during rush hours).

The 101 schedule might need to be rewritten, so perhaps instead of having it run every 12 minutes during middays and weekends for example, it could run every 15 minutes. The 121 and 128 both operate every 30 during middays, evenings, and on Saturdays, so if it's coordinated well, riders between New Britain Avenue and Downtown Hartford would have a bus every 5-8 minutes off-peak, which is pretty good (even with the slight service cut on the 101). This is just one of many sample departure times from Hartford going south that could work out, but here's what I had in mind:

Weekday Off-Peak & Saturdays:

:00 - 101
:05 -128
:10 - 121
:15 - 101
: 22 - 102
:30 - 101
:35 - 128
:40 - 121
:45 - 101
:52 - 102

Most other stations south would have some variance sure, and for stations between Newington Junction and New Britain, there will be a 15 minute gap at some point because the 128 leaves the bus way at New Britain Ave (but serves New Britain Bus Terminal), and the 121 serves all stops south until Newington Junction. On Sundays, it would be roughly every 7 minutes on the combined portion (since the 121/128 operate every hour, the 102 would operate every 30 minutes, and the 101 every 15 minutes). 

--------------------------------------------

Another thing I was thinking about, is that the 905 should probably make the stops in Windsor Locks, instead of dedicating a whole new service to it. If the 25 doesn't catch on, I would definitely do that, so that there's a direct link from those areas to Hartford and Enfield. And the resources used on the 24 can be used in order to expand the service hours of the 905 instead. I'm glad that they added some weekend service for regular use (and weekday service to Hartford ends later), and it's something I think should have happened a long time ago.  However, I also think that route could potentially get evening service as well (and improved weekend service down the line). Coordinating departure times from Hartford at night with Hartford Line trains/AMTRAK trains might be ideal. The 913 schedule should also be adjusted if that's not currently the case either. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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@BM5 via Woodhaven I'll get back on the SE Connecticut changes.

Definitely agree with the busway restructuring and service coordination. The 101 is basically a short-turn 102 (albeit a  much more frequent one), and the coordination in the schedule should reflect that.

I'm not sure what the 24 has to do with the 905. The 24 connects Windsor/Windsor Locks to the airport (and residential areas in between), and the 905 connects those areas to Hartford. 

The interesting thing will be how the construction/reconstruction of the Thompsonville station in a couple of years will affect the 905. Would the relationship become similar to that of the Hartford Line with the 950?

On a side note, did the 950 ever run weekends? (I doubt it but just double-checking, because it might give an idea of what is in store for the 905)

Edited by checkmatechamp13
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22 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

@BM5 via Woodhaven I'll get back on the SE Connecticut changes.

Definitely agree with the busway restructuring and service coordination. The 101 is basically a short-turn 102 (albeit a  much more frequent one), and the coordination in the schedule should reflect that.

I'm not sure what the 24 has to do with the 905. The 24 connects Windsor/Windsor Locks to the airport (and residential areas in between), and the 905 connects those areas to Hartford. 

The interesting thing will be how the construction/reconstruction of the Thompsonville station in a couple of years will affect the 905. Would the relationship become similar to that of the Hartford Line with the 950?

On a side note, did the 950 ever run weekends? (I doubt it but just double-checking, because it might give an idea of what is in store for the 905)

The 24 replaces what used to be the 905W. So those stops in Windsor Locks were all 905 stops. The 24 isn't exactly identical, but it serves Poquonock P & R to connect to the buses to Hartford, and goes to Windsor station to connect to AMTRAK/Hartford Line. The airport connection came with the creation of the route. For the resources they used on the 24, they should used it to enhance 905 service more, including make stops in Windsor Locks. That way, direct service to Hartford is preserved, direct service to Enfield for local riders is possible, and more convenient timed connections can potentially be done at Windsor Locks station (which the 905 currently serves).

I also personally don't see a lot of ridership on the 24 to/from Bradley International. The 30X is more frequent and direct from Poquonock P & R, and depending on airport ridership from Windsor Locks just won't do. Might as well have the 905 cover its former stops on Kennedy Road and in Windsor Locks, and have all buses (except peak direction trips) make a stop at Bradley (pick up only towards Enfield, drop off only towards Hartford). That way Enfield also gets direct access to Bradley, and on a daily basis. Windsor Locks would also get weekend service this way. 

I feel like CT Transit would do the same thing they did with the 950 (which is to have greater flexibility & cross honoring, plus some slight route restructuring). So they might make the 905 more user-friendly for rail passengers.

Also, the 20/950 never had weekend service, IIRC. The only express bus that I recall lost weekend service was the 14/914, whenever it stopped going to Norwich.  

 

 

 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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23 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

@BM5 via Woodhaven Do you mind creating a Google Map of the former 905W? My understanding was it was basically a short-turn of the nain 905 between Hartford and Windsor Locks.

Here's a map of it, with the 24 for reference. The 905W was a variant of the 905 which made local stops in Windsor Locks, so it wasn't exactly a short-turn. The main 905 service didn't make those local stops. 

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@BM5 via Woodhaven Makes sense, since at least the connections are available at Windsor Locks (I'd still try to keep something for peak direction riders heading to the airport, maybe leave the #24 running peak direction only)

Also, another proposal, since the #928 is based out of a depot in New Britain, the last buses of the evening (and ideally the first buses of the morning) should make a partial trip instead of deadheading to/from Waterbury (and riders can catch FastTrak to/from there). Anything that can extend the span beyond 7pm on a Sunday would be very useful.

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Not sure if this is intended as a weekday-only replacement for the #928 route, or if they resolved the issue without publicizing it, they are creating a new route from Waterbury to Meriden, the #940: https://www.cttransit.com/news/ctdot-announces-new-express-bus-route-940-connecting-waterbury-and-meriden

I think the 12:19pm bus out of Meriden is a typo (It shows it connects with a 12:29pm Hartford Line arrival, which is obviously impossible): https://www.cttransit.com/sites/default/files/schedules/e_940_merwat.pdf

@BM5 via Woodhaven @B35 via Church

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