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Thu February 20, 2014
Hartford-New Britain Busway is on Track, But Lacks a Marketing Budget
Connecticut transportation officials told state legislators on Wednesday that a multi-million-dollar bus corridor being built between Hartford and New Britain is on budget and on time.
But DOT Commissioner James Redeker also found himself fielding skeptical questions from members of the Transportation Committee as he pitched Connecticut's first bus-based mass transit project.
The busway, called CTfastrak, is set to open next year.
Legislators told Redeker that he must step up the marketing, because the public perception of buses is not all positive.
Redeker told them he's aware of the issue. "You're correct; marketing is a hurdle," he said. "I would say, candidly, that the DOT, for public transportation, has virtually no marketing budget. We've taken federal money -- congestion mitigation, air quality money -- about $3 million, to do the marketing for this. And the marketing program itself, as I've challenged, to set benchmarks, to say, if I spend a dollar, how much do I get back?"
The commissioner said he wants to see 16,000 people using the busway by 2030.
Watch CT-N's footage of the informational forum on CTfastrak below: