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Connecticut Transit (CT Transit) is a bus system serving much of the U.S. state of Connecticut and is a division of that state's Department of Transportation. CT Transit provides bus service via contract providers for seven different metropolitan areas in the state, mostly concentrated in Hartford and New Haven counties. The routes and infrastructure of CT Transit were acquired by the state in 1976 from The Connecticut Company and Connecticut Railway and Lighting Company when those companies entered bankruptcy.
Unlike other state-run transit systems, CT Transit acts as an oversight authority for a group of private operators which run the routes and day-to-day operations via contract. This arrangement gives CT Transit the dubious distinction of having no employees of its own with its state oversight being employees of Connecticut DOT and its primary employees being employed by the contract operators.
CT Transit is split into seven divisions which, for the most part, are run independently but also coordinate aspects with each other. Even with this coordination and the support of the state, there are some differences between divisions ranging from fleets to transfer policies to route numbering. Coupled with the maintenance of municipally-owned systems elsewhere in the state, CT Transit is sizeably different from similar statewide organizations even though, on the surface, it looks like an outgrowth of the state.
As per CT Transit's own promotional materials and website, this list is arranged in order from largest division to smallest.
Operated by First Transit (via subsidiary HNS Management), CT Transit Hartford's service area includes the immediate suburbs of Hartford. Additional services include twelve express routes from outlying suburbs to downtown Hartford, the Bradley Flyer to Bradley International Airport, and the downtown Star Shuttle.
- Connecting Services: DATTCO Inc.'s "S' route to the shoreline communities of Branford, Clinton, Guilford, Madison, Westbrook, and Old Saybrook via the "S" route and an express run to Hartford funded by CDOT. Routes J7, O2, and PMF also connect to the "Coastal Link" on Route 1 between Milford and Norwalk which is operated jointly by the Milford Transit District, Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority, and the Norwalk Transit District.
Operated by First Transit (dba HNS Management), CT Transit Stamford is the only division based in Fairfield County serving Stamford and surrounding communities including secondary service into Norwalk, Connecticut (connecting to that city's WHEELS system). This is also the only division to leave the state of Connecticut with one route going into Port Chester, New York and the I-Bus express running to White Plains, New York.
Operated by Northeast Transportation (which had acquired the Connecticut Company routes in the 1960s), CT Transit Waterbury is the largest system to be operated by an outside contract provider and to not provide Sunday service. Outside of the immediate city of Waterbury, service also services the nearby towns of Cheshire, Naugatuck, and Watertown. Service is also provided to Wolcott, Middelbury, Oakville section of Watertown in addition to Watertown proper and tripper or rush hour service to Beacon Falls; some of these services are provided under via funding from various non-profit organizations.
- Connecting Services: CT Transit New Haven's Route J4 runs to downtown Waterbury on weekdays and Saturdays.
CT Transit New BritainEdit
Operated in a split-by-routes arrangement by New Britain Transportation and DATTCO Inc., CT Transit New Britain provides services in New Britain with service also serving Bristol, Plainville, and Hartford via the DATTCO-operated Route P.
Operated by New Britain Transportation, CT Transit Bristol has one route around the city of Bristol and a second route which is split with CT Transit New Britain.
CT Transit Meriden/WallingfordEdit
Operated by Northeast Transportation, CT Transit Meriden provides three loop routes around Meriden as well as a loop route around Wallingford which connects to the Meriden route C. This division is the smallest of CT Transit's divisions and is the only one to have weekday-only service.