BOSTON (SHNS) – Low-income fares and free public transit services have proven elusive policy goals in Massachusetts, but Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says his state is set to provide free, statewide bus service to all customers every weekend this summer beginning Memorial Day weekend and lasting through Labor Day.
Lamont on Tuesday outlined his effort which will center on bus systems operated by CTtransit, saying he hoped it would encourage people in Connecticut “to visit locally owned, small businesses and help support the economy in those communities that have been most heavily impacted by the pandemic, particularly within the state’s largest cities.”
About 20 percent of residents in New Britain and Waterbury, and around 30 percent of residents in Hartford and New Haven do not own cars and rely on transit and other options to get around.
“To help support our economic recovery from the pandemic, I want to make Connecticut’s many attractions and businesses reachable by as many of our residents as possible, and implementing free weekend bus service this summer – the busiest time of tourism season – will help facilitate that,” Lamont said. “I thank Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for advocating on behalf of our state to ensure that we receive the resources needed to help recover from this pandemic.”
Lamont plans to use CARES Act funding to pay for the free service.
In addition to Saturdays and Sundays, the free service will also include the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 31; the observed Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5; and the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 6.