(The Center Square) – Patrons of public transportation in Connecticut are getting a break through a new program created through legislation, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The governor announced in a news release the launch of CTpass, a new state program designed to offer group rates to eligible organizations to gain access to public transportation services throughout the state. The program will be administered by the Department of Transportation.
“This is an innovative way for private employers, schools, job training service providers, social service providers, and other organizations to increase access to Connecticut’s bus and rail system,” Lamont said in the release. “Affordable transportation to workforce training, educational programs, and employment continues to be one of the largest impediments for individuals with low incomes, and this program seeks to address those needs.”
Lamont first proposed the initiative in early 2021 to support workforce development and job growth in the state. The legislation was approved and signed into law in June.
The program, according to the release, is similar to the U-Pass CT program, which was launched in 2017 between the state’s universities and colleges and the Department of Transportation, and provides students unlimited use of the state’s rail and bus systems.
The difference with CTpass is the concept is expanded to encompass organizations, including private entities, and giving them the opportunity to participate.
The program, according to the release, is now accepting applications through the Department of Transportation. Group fare rates will be negotiated between the department and organizations and will be based on the rail and bus services organizations wish to utilize.
“Public transportation plays a critical role in eliminating barriers to education and the economy,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto said in the release. “The CTpass program has the potential to make a big difference in making Connecticut more accessible for students, employees, and job seekers alike.”
Organizations eligible to participate in CTpass include groups that provide a training program listed on the Department of Labor’s Eligible Training Provider list, apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program sponsors, and to providers of an alternate route to a certification program the state’s Board of Education has approved.
Also eligible are higher education institutions, private occupational schools, private employers, state or municipal agencies, and public or nonprofit social service providers in the state.
For more information, or to download an application, visit ct.gov/dot/CTpass.
Once an application is submitted, the Connecticut Department of Transportation will review it and contact the organization for the next steps in the process.