Transit for Connecticut
What is the problem?
Congestion in Connecticut causes over 64 million hours of delay annually in the state's three largest urban areas— Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford— and costs the state approximately $1.3 billion annually. Additionally, the largest single barrier to employment is lack of transportation.
Transit ridership has increased in Connecticut over the last few years with 41 million bus trips and 37,857,622 rail trips reported in 2011. In 2011, the Metro-North rail line that runs from New York City to New Haven served approximately 38 million riders, making it the most used rail line in the country. While ridership has increased and the need for more transit service has been documented, the state's investment has not kept pace with the increased need
What are the benefits of public transportation?
Increased transit benefits the economy:
- For every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital and operations, approximately 36,000 jobs are created and supported.
- For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic return.
- Riding public transportation instead of driving a car can save residents on average over $9,800 per year.
Increased transit benefits the environment:
- Riding a bus instead of driving alone for a 20-mile round trip commute can reduce 4,800 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year.
- Taking public transportation reduces excess gasoline usage — commuters who drive to work instead of taking public transportation consumes 99 extra gallons of gas per year while stuck in traffic; in 2007, that added up to over 30 million excess gallons of fuel being used.
- Using transit can help reduce congestion on our roads, help reduce harmful air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and support responsible growth, thereby reducing sprawl.
Increased transit provides needed mobility options for all residents:
- Public transportation allows senior citizens who can't drive to stay in their homes and "age in place," as opposed to entering a nursing home, saving the State of Connecticut $3,500 to $4,000 per month per person.
- Public transit provides young adults with the ability to live and work in vibrant communities and provides all residents with mobility options needed to get to work, recreation, shopping or medical appointments.
How does CFE work to improve Connecticut's transportation infrastructure?
CFE advocates for public transportation improvements through its Transit for Connecticut coalition. he coalition is made up of 33 business, human service, regional planning, civic, transportation, and environmental organizations. The mission of Transit for Connecticut is to visualize, advocate for, and see the implementation of a cost-effective comprehensive strategic investment in bus transit that will create opportunities, address unmet needs, and provide access and mobility that will benefit every community in the state. Transit for Connecticut is supported by the One Region Funder's Group, including the Fairfield County Community Foundation and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.
Transit for Connecticut uses public listening sessions, press conferences, legislative advocacy, educational forums, meetings with key legislative leaders, and public outreach to increase the awareness of the benefits of bus transit and to advocate for increased investment in the state's transportation infrastructure.
What is Transit for Connecticut working on this year?
Transits for Connecticut's 2012 legislative goals include:
- Maintain bus service at current levels;
- Work to ensure that investments are made in new transit services;
- Encourage the leveraging of federal transit investments for rail and bus;
- Increase our state's long-term planning for our transportation future.