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Connecticut Transit

Connecticut Transit
CTTransit Logo.jpg
Cttransit 1610 238.jpg
CTtransit bus 1610 and bus 238 in downtown Hartford on the 38 Weston Street line and 54 Blue Hills Avenue line.
ParentConnecticut Department of Transportation
HeadquartersHartford, Connecticut
Service areaMetropolitan areas of Stamford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Meriden, New Britain, Bristol, and Wallingford
Service typeLocal bus service
RoutesBuses operate 7 days a week in most divisions, with the exception of a few holidays in some. See CTtransit for the latest information concerning holiday schedules.
OperatorSee articles for each division
Chief executiveCole Pouliot (HNS General Manager)
WebsiteOfficial Website

Connecticut Transit (styled CTtransit) is a bus system serving much of the U.S. state of Connecticut and is a division of that state's Department of Transportation.[1] CTtransit provides bus service via contract providers for seven different metropolitan areas in the state, mostly concentrated in Hartford and New Haven counties. CTtransit began operations in 1976.


HNS Management, Inc., is the principal operator of CTtransit service in the greater Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford areas. They are the second largest public transit system in New England with a total fleet of over 400 buses and over 27 million customers served each year. HNS employs nearly 980 bus operators, maintenance employees, and administrative personnel; the company administers an annual operating budget of over $100 million. CTtransit is owned by, and management reports to staff of, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Bureau of Public Transportation.

Early history

Public transportation in Connecticut dates back to the 19th Century, with the introduction of horse-drawn trolley lines in many towns across the state. In 1901, the Connecticut Railway and Lighting Company was formed to operate and extend electric powered trolley services. These operations were leased to the Consolidated Railway Company in 1906 and, a year later, merged with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

In 1910, the New Haven Railroad formally sublet all of its street railway operations to the Connecticut Company, and service continued to expand throughout the next two decades. By 1924, the Connecticut Company operated some 1,640-passenger cars over a network of 834 miles of trolley track.

Both the New Haven Railroad and Connecticut Company suffered financial setbacks during the Depression years. In 1936, the Connecticut Railway and Lighting Company (CR&L) returned to the transit business, having petitioned the Federal courts for restoration of its original transit property when Connecticut Company was not able to maintain lease payments. CR&L operated bus motor coaches on all of its lines. Although the manufacture of transit buses was virtually halted during World War II, new production after the war allowed the Connecticut Company to complete the replacement of all its former trolley lines in 1948.

The 1950s inaugurated a period of decline for public transportation nationwide. Suburbanization, increased automobile ownership, public investment in new highway construction, and declining profitability in the transit business led to a vicious circle of rising fares, service cuts, and declining ridership. Following the abandonment of its various local operations, the Connecticut Company was sold in 1964 to the Colony Company, headed by E. Clayton Gengras.

The CR&L surrendered its last transit operating franchises in 1973, and in June 1976 Gengras sold the three remaining divisions of the Connecticut Company (Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford) to the State of Connecticut.

Public ownership

CT Transit bus #8306, built in 1983, at Seashore Trolley Museum

When the Connecticut Department of Transportation acquired the assets of the Connecticut Company, it contracted with a private management company to operate the system. Since 1979, First Transit, Inc. (formerly ATE Management and Service Company and Ryder/ATE) has provided contract management services to the State in managing the day-to-day operations of CTTRANSIT. H.N.S. Management Company (the letters symbolize the three divisions: Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford) is a wholly owned sub corporation of First Transit, established as the legal entity to perform the management contact.

Today, the management of CTtransit reports to CTDOT’s Bureau of Public Transportation. CTDOT staff performs directly many functions that support the day-to-day transit operation, such as capital procurement, long-range planning, and Federal grant applications. In addition, CTDOT exercises oversight of the CTtransit operation through the budget process, authorization of major capital expenditures, service and fare policy, and monthly financial and performance reporting.


CTtransit is arranged into multiple divisions:[2]

CTtransit Bus Stop for the Hartford 5W-Windsor Locks and 30-Bradley Flyer routes.


CTtransit is operated by HNS Management/First Transit, serving Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford. DATTCO and New Britain Transit provide service in New Britain and now New Britain Transit operates the Bristol Service. The Northeast Transportation Company operates the Waterbury, Meriden, and Wallingford divisions of CTtransit. CTtransit is overseen by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, which also provides the operating budget.


In early 2012, HNS Management made a gesture to reducing their environmental impact through the installation of a PureCell stationary fuel cell system for their headquarters on Leibert Road in Hartford, Conn. The fuel cell provides 400 kilowatts (kW) of power to the 330,000 square-foot facility. Thermal energy from the fuel cell will be used to pre-heat two boilers that support the building’s primary heating system.[3]

By generating power on-site with a fuel cell, CTtransit will prevent the release of more than 827 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 191 acres of trees. The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to a conventional power plant are equal to the environmental benefit of removing more than 102 cars from the road. In addition to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the PureCell system will enable CTtransit to save nearly 3.6 million gallons of water annually.[4]


CTtransit’s annual revenue is primarily made up of three things: passenger fares, advertising and reimbursements for services run through contracts with state agencies (primarily access to jobs). The State of Connecticut subsidizes the operations of CTtransit in the amount of the annual operating deficit.

Numbers for FY2013:

Passenger Fares $26,214,835
Advertising Revenue $781,804
Service Reimbursements $8,627,668
Total Revenue $35,624,307
Total Expenses $121,969,197
Total Deficit $86,071,890


  1. ^ "Existing Conditions CT Statewide Bus Study" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Local Service - CTtransit - Connecticut DOT-owned bus service".
  3. ^ "CT TRANSIT sets Another Green Example: Installs PureCell? System from UTC Power and Expands Commitment to Reducing Environmental Impact".
  4. ^ "CT Transit purchases fuel-cell system".



External links