Connecticut sees largest mixed-use development yet along bus rapid transit line


A CTfastrak route 101 bus bound for New Britain at the Flatbush Ave station in West Hartford, CT. (Photo: Pi.1415926535, Wikimedia Commons)

The State of Connecticut is offering developers a 50 year, $6 million interest free loan to support the development of a $58 million apartment and retail complex in downtown New Britain. The project is expected to construct 80 new rental units, 64 of which are income restricted affordable units, across the street from the CTfastrak bus rapid transit station. A nearly identical, second building is planned for the future.

The development project—constructed on land formerly occupied by the city’s police headquarters—is seen as a bipartisan win for both the city and state. It’s hoped the new housing will bring more businesses and life to downtown and attract younger workers who “prefer commuting to work by bus, subway or train, and are especially drawn to walkable communities.” (Hartford Courant) When completed, the project will be the largest new development along the bus rapid transit line since it opened in March of 2015.

CTfastrak travels 9.4 miles between downtown Hartford and New Britain, CT carrying nine different bus routes, largely on a dedicated busway. It was funded in part by an FTA New Starts grant and cost $567 million. In February of this year the corridor had an average daily ridership of over 17,000.

It’s not often that states support individual development projects such as this one, but its proximity to an urban core and transit station with access to jobs along the corridor made it a good fit for city and state support. Funding for new projects can be difficult, but there are resources in the library that can provide some guidance, including Filling the Financing Gap for Equitable TOD.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.