Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced the launch of CTpass, a new state program administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation that offers group rates to eligible organizations to access public transportation services throughout Connecticut, including rail and bus systems.
The program was first proposed by Governor Lamont in early 2021 as part of his ongoing efforts to support the workforce development and job growth needs of the state. Its creation was ultimately approved by the state legislature in legislation related to the implementation of the 2022-2023 biennial state budget that the governor signed into law in June.
“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,” Governor Lamont said in a release on Tuesday. “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.”
CTpass is similar to the state’s U-Pass CT program, which launched in 2017 as a collaboration between the Connecticut Dept of Transportation, UConn, and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, and enables students enrolled in the state’s public institutions of higher education to have unlimited use of Connecticut’s rail and bus systems. CTpass expands this concept, providing more organizations, including those that are privately operated, with the ability to participate.
Organizations interested in joining CTpass can now submit applications to the Connecticut Dept of Transportation. The department will negotiate with applicant organizations for group fares based on the rail and bus services that each organization would like to access.
“Public transportation plays a critical role in eliminating barriers to education and the economy,” Connecticut Dept 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.”
“Access to high-quality transportation continues to be a fundamental issue for people in getting to work or a job training program and was identified as a priority of the Governor’s Workforce Council Strategic Plan,” Connecticut Chief Workforce Officer Dr. Kelli Vallieres said. “CTpass will tackle this issue head on by developing an expanded net of organizations who can qualify for group rates, ultimately making transportation more accessible to people who need it most.”
Organizations that can participate in CTpass include but are not limited to:
- Organizations that provide a training program listed on the Connecticut Department of Labor Department’s Eligible Training Provider List;
- Apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program sponsors;
- Providers of an alternate route to a certification program that the Connecticut State Board of Education has approved
- Institutions of higher education;
- Private occupational schools;
- Private employers;
- State or municipal agencies; and
- Public or nonprofit social service providers in Connecticut.
Once an application is submitted, the Connecticut Department of Transportation will review it and contact the organization for the next steps in the process.