Today, Governor Rell announced the installation of bicycle racks on 100 buses serving the Greater Hartford area. The project was undertaken by the Federal Transit Administration, Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), CTTRANSIT, Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance (CCBA) and Capital Region Council of Governments.
"Last year, the bike racks on buses in New Haven and Stamford were used more than 27,000 times, and use is up again in 2007," Governor Rell said. "Clearly, people are enjoying the convenience that the racks offer. Adding racks to buses in the greater Hartford area will continue our progress in getting single occupant vehicles off the roads.
The bike racks are currently installed on 100 buses. Additional racks are being installed at a rate of two per day. The entire 237 bus CTTRANSIT Hartford fleet is scheduled to be equipped with the racks by
Thanksgiving. The bicycle racks, already installed on all New Haven and Stamford CTTRANSIT buses, will give Hartford area passengers an added option when commuting.
"To get people out of their cars and onto our buses, it is our job to make that change as easy as possible. You have to give people a reason to change their habits, and this is a common sense idea that addresses what was once an obstacle to mass transportation. Now, people can ride their bikes to the bus stop. It's a healthy alternative."
DOT Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter said that the cost of the bicycle racks is approximately $1,000 per bus. Funding for this project is provided through the Federal Transit Administration and DOT.
"Providing bike racks on buses enables CTTRANSIT to expand the reach of its service," said Lyle Wray, Executive Director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments. "In our bicycle planning and transit planning work, we have heard from numerous bicyclists and transit users on the importance of being able to combine bicycle and transit trips in a seamless way."
David Ringquist, President of the Central CT Bicycle Alliance said that, "Many bicyclists are very thoughtful about their transportation options and are strong supporters of the region's transit system. Bike racks on buses enable more people to get on their bike and get on the bus."
"The bike racks are quick, simple and easy to use. Although many people label bike riding in our New England climate as a seasonal activity, our experience has shown frequent use of the bike racks in New Haven and Stamford throughout the year," said CTTRANSIT General Manager David A.Lee. "At a time when environmental protection and energy independence are national priorities, it simply makes good sense to accommodate bicycle users in the public transit system."
The bicycle racks will remain on the buses all year long. There is no additional fare required for bicycles. Each rack can hold two bikes and is available on a first come, first served basis. Only single-seat,two-wheeled bikes will fit in the racks.
CTTRANSIT, along with the CCBA, is sponsoring a Bike To Work event on Friday, September 28 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Old State House in downtown Hartford.
Pamphlets on how to use the bike rack along with other information regarding bike and bus commuting will be available at the CTTRANSIT Sales Outlet adjacent to the Old State House. Information can also be found online at www.cttransit.com or by calling CTTRANSIT Hartford Division Customer Service at (860) 525-9181.