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Bus riders are coming back in Connecticut as the state offers free rides

bus interior
Todd Lappin

Bus ridership in Connecticut has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to data collected by the Department of Transportation.

Governor Ned Lamont made state buses free through June 30 to counter high gas prices and bring back riders who left during the pandemic. This includes state buses and local buses in some cities, like Hartford, Stamford and New Haven.

Stamford’s local ridership is back up to 90% of its pre-pandemic levels, according to the Department of Transportation. Hartford and New Haven’s local riders have come back at almost the same levels. But only about 20% of riders on the state’s express bus service have returned.

The DOT told Hearst Connecticut Media they’ll do ridership studies after the free bus period ends to understand how effective the strategy really was.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.