CEDAS Gets on the Fastrak!


On July 29th, CEDAS members and colleagues gathered to experience Connecticut’s new Bus Rapid Transit system, CTfastrak, in a “sold-out” tour focused on the economic development impact of the bus system on surrounding communities. The day was hosted by CEDAS, in coordination with the CT Department of Transportation (DOT) and Newington’s Economic Development Director Andy Brecher, who welcomed guests to the event. Guest hosts CT DOT Staff Lisa Rivers and Maureen Lawrence assisted Brecher in narrating much of the afternoon.

The tour started in Newington center, where more than 60 people came aboard. DOT Comissioner James Redeker, dressed in a green tie to match the Fastrak signature color,  joined the group at the first stop at Cedar Street Station. The bus next stopped at the Downtown New Britain Station where the group was met by New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Economic Development Director Bill Carroll, who discussed how Fastrak is leading to new development oppotunities including  collaboration with nearby CCSU. Stops also included Elmwood Station in West Hartford, where Mark McGovern, Direcor of Communitve Service and George Howell, of the West Hartford Housing Authority highlighted housing development along the busway.

The bus continued onto Flatbush and Downtown Hartford. In downtown Hartford, bus riders were welcomed at a reception at Sarah’s Coffee House, one of Connecticut’s new social enterprises and  a global – family farm initiatve. At the Asylum Street location, CEO Uyen Mai and ReSet Director, James Woulfe talked about how Benefit Corporations, like the Sarah’s, are providing new opportunities to do business and do good, globally and locally. (CTFastrak holders also get a discount on Sarah’s offerings!)  Lastly, riders departed from Asylum Street and leaned about development in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood from Parkville Business Association spokesperson Kurt Fromherz before returning to Newington Center for a networking event at the Rooster Company.

The event was covered by the New Britain Herald. Thanks to all who joined!

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