State Could End Hartford's Star Shuttle

Aug 23, 2011

The state is considering ending regular service for the Star Shuttle -- the free bus that loops through downtown Hartford.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the shuttle gets a lot of use when conventions are in town, and hardly any use when they're not. The Star Shuttle started six years ago.  It goes from the convention center to Union Station, and to the city's downtown hotels.  But David Lee, who runs CT Transit, says the bus doesn't get a lot of regular use.  On a typical day when nothing special is going on, the shuttle gets fewer than 200 passengers. "That's over a 16 hour day, with two buses that's really 32 trips, you can do the math, it works out to less than two passengers per trip. There is not a great deal of ridership by people who live and work downtown." So as the state considers fare increases and service changes for buses and trains, it's thinking of only using the Star Shuttle when there's a convention in town.  That move could save around $400,000 a year.   The state Department of Transportation says that it hasn't yet made a decision as to the shuttle's fate.  It's holding public hearings on this and other proposed changes at the Hartford Public Library on Thursday. For more information on the changes and the public hearing schedule, visit ct.gov/dot. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.