Sign Up

For the latest Connecticut news, straight to your inbox.

Two Years on, Where Malloy’s “Magic Busway” Stands

March 30, 2017 By Staff
Two Years on, Where Malloy’s “Magic Busway” Stands

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) touted CTfastrak – called the 'Magic Busway' by some – as a "transformative investment." Here's the full picture, two years on.

This week, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) released a gushing statement in praise of CTfastrak, the Hartford-area bus line once derided as the ‘Magic Busway.’

Malloy said CTfastrak is a “transformative investment” that “has exceeded all expectations.”

However, CTfastrak‘s story is more complicated than a simple, smashing success.

In the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget for CTfastrak, passenger revenue was just $4.2 million of the system’s $22.5 million in expenses (18.67 percent). A “subsidy” made up the other $18.3 million.

Malloy’s 2018-19 budget, released this year, noted that the “federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program grant funding[,] which has covered 80% of CTFastrak in the first three years of operation,” is expiring this year. He asked for more state taxpayer dollars to make up the difference.

And then there’s the matter that CTfastrak is more expensive than the state had estimated for years. Leading up to the busway’s launch in 2015, the Department of Transportation estimated the system would cost $10 million a year. In reality, the cost has been closer to $17 million or $18 million a year.

Connecticut wants to expand the system eastward to UConn at a cost of millions of dollars per year, even though even as the state faces a budget crisis.

The project originally cost around $567 million, as reported by the Courant.