HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont announced that Weekend Wheels – the fare-free CTtransit bus service his administration is launching that will be available to everyone in Connecticut each weekend this summer – is extending to include all local transit district bus routes statewide.
In March, the governor announced plans to launch Weekend Wheels as part of his efforts to help the state and its residents recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being supported with funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Under the initiative, customers will not be required to pay any bus fares on Saturdays and Sundays during 2021 between Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The fare-free bus service will also include the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 31, 2021; the observed Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5, 2021; and the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6, 2021. Bus services in this promotion include all CTtransit local routes, all routes operated by transit districts, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services.
The governor said that the fare-free weekend bus service dovetails with other pandemic recovery initiatives his administration is launching this summer, such as his proposal to create a program that will allow all children in Connecticut to visit museums and other tourist attractions throughout the state free of charge this summer, such as Beardsley Zoo, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, all of which are on bus routes with weekend service.
“In addition to offering some economic relief to families that rely on bus service, this fare-free weekend initiative will encourage residents to visit locally owned businesses and help support Connecticut’s economy in communities that have been heavily affected by the economic impact of the pandemic,” Governor Lamont said. “I am appreciative of the local transit districts that are partnering with the state on Weekend Wheels.”
“While Connecticut’s bus and train systems were never shut down as a result of the pandemic, unfortunately many local businesses and organizations had no other option than to pause or curtail their operations,” Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said. “This fare-free bus service will allow people to get to many of the state’s great destinations that are served by CTtransit and local transit district bus routes. By using Weekend Wheels, residents can visit museums, get to the beach, attend baseball games, shop in local stores, and patronize local restaurants and breweries. This connection is crucial in jumpstarting our economy that was impacted by the virus. We can also reconnect families and friends who have been forced apart due to the pandemic.”
Passengers are still required to cover their mouths and noses with a mask or face covering while on all buses, in adherence with the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says that everyone must continue wearing masks on public transportation whether or not they have been vaccinated, as well as federal requirement from the Transportation Security Administration. Passengers should continue practicing social distancing on all buses, at stops, and while entering and exiting the bus. They should also not use public transportation if they feel sick. Enhanced cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC are still being utilized on all buses in Connecticut for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about routes and destinations offered by CTtransit, visit CTtransit.com.