Connecticut DOT Sets New Bus Route, Preps for Pilot Program

The Connecticut Department of Transportation launched a new circulator bus route on September 8 to provide broader transit options for the residents of Plainfield. Dubbed the Orange Line, it is the first public bus service to be operated in Plainfield in more than 20 years.

[Above photo by CTtransit.]

“We are thrilled with Plainfield’s decision to rejoin the Northeastern Connecticut Transit District,” said Dennis Solensky, transit administrator for the Connecticut DOT, in a statement. “The new service to Plainfield and the surrounding areas, which the Connecticut DOT is supporting, represents an important part of our commitment and plans to enhance transit service in eastern Connecticut.”

The agency is also gearing up to launch one of the first pilot tests of fully autonomous transit buses in North America, with three self-driving all-electric 40-foot New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE vehicles scheduled to be deployed into revenue service sometime in 2021.

According to news reports, the automated bus pilot program will operate on the 9.4-mile-long CTfastrak bus rapid transit guideway connecting downtown Hartford and downtown New Britain; a guideway built on current and former railroad rights-of-way owned by the Connecticut and Amtrak, minimizing the need to acquire private land.

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