Alliance for Transit ● Connecticut Legislative Brief ● June 4, 2019
Buses Link People to Jobs
More than 120,000 bus trips are made every day in Connecticut. It is no surprise that the majority of bus riders are traveling to and from work. This makes the bus services in Connecticut a critical link to jobs and a “rung” on the “ladder of opportunity.”
As we invest in fixed route bus service, we increase access to jobs and employers.
Getting People to Jobs Faster.
XtraMile is a shuttle bus ride sharing pilot program that takes people to work from the train station in Old Saybrook, Essex (the village of Centerbrook & the Essex Steam Train), and Westbrook, Connecticut.
Anyone can hop on the shuttle bus at the train station or use the smartphone app to get picked up anywhere and taken anywhere in the service area. The buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts and drivers are trained at helping people with disabilities.
If the program is successful, service will continue and be expanded throughout the region at a low cost to riders. People without smartphones may call the dispatch center to get a ride.
58.8% of Bus Riders Going to Work
HARTransit surveyed its Dial-a-ride and ADA paratransit riders in 2016 and its fixed route riders in 2018.
Among other things, passengers were asked why they use the bus.
Survey responses indicated that 58.8% of fixed route riders and 10.7% of demand response riders use HARTransit services to access employment.
25.41% Increase in Bus Rides to Work at FedEx
In 2018, Fed Ex opened a new facility ─ the largest in New England ─ in Middletown. This brought 500 jobs initially. As they have expanded, Middletown Transit (MAT) has been working closely with FedEx to streamline existing bus routes and add new routes to meet the growing needs of employees traveling to and from work.
These changes will enable employees to get to work faster on more direct routes that are also synced with other connecting transit services as FedEx expands to a projected 1,000 employees. The result? More reliable bus service and more jobs for Connecticut.
From Disabled to Work and Independence
“I have Usher syndrome Type 1 resulting in deafblindness. As a result, I have been totally deaf since birth, and have lost most of my usable vision over time. My primary means of communication is tactile sign language.”
“Despite losing both vision and hearing, I was determined to learn Braille. Now I am a Braille instructor for the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) for consumers who are deaf-blind. I am also a technology trainer and once my consumers have mastered Braille, I teach them how to access the internet using electronic Braille equipment.”
“I have used ADA Paratransit for my transportation from my home to my job for over two years now.”
“I want to share my experience so that other deaf-blind people will be motivated to use public bus services and become more independent.”
—Michelle Clark, Rider, Greater Hartford Transit District
As we invest in fixed route bus service, we increase job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Getting People with Disabilities to Jobs
Finding a job can be a daunting task for anyone. Having a disability and limited or no access to transportation can make it nearly impossible.
In areas where there is existing local service, bus operators also provide door-to-door service for riders with disabilities. Every year there are more than 1.3Million+ door-to-door rides for riders with disabilities and many of these are to gainful employment.
As we invest in fixed route services, we are also expanding opportunities and independent living for riders with disabilities.
It’s All Connected ─ as the bus system expands, so do services for riders with disabilities.
Alliance for Transit is a coalition of bus operators, organizations, businesses, and agencies focused on bus transit in Connecticut.
Alliance for Transit is a project of Connecticut Association for Community Transportation.