Electric Vehicles are in Town!

From the new Hartford line to the Tesla superchargers at 777 Main Street, transportation is getting cleaner and greener in Hartford.

A ribbon-cutting for the largest cluster of charging stations in Connecticut was recently hosted by the Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition. A reception and panel discussion of EV policy followed, with moderator and panelists:

  • Claire Coleman – Energy and Environment Attorney at CT Fund for the Environment
  • Matt Macunas – Legislative Liaison and EV Policy Specialist at CT Green Bank
  • Kerri Enright Kato – Director of DEEP’s Office of Climate Change
  • Emily Lewis – Policy Analyst at The Acadia Center

An EV “ride and drive” featured an array of new electric vehicles, including BMW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Tesla, and Honda.

777 Main was designed and developed by Becker and Becker. Principal Bruce Becker, also the president of the Electric Vehicle Club of CT, stated, “80% of EV charging is done at home. Residents of apartments and condos typically have less access to charging, which is a significant barrier to ownership for a lot of people, especially in cities. The ambitious emission-reduction goals set by the state underscore the importance of increasing the number of EVs from the 6,264 registered as of March. This project in Hartford, CT serves as an example for adding charging features in housing developments as an impetus to accelerate EV adoption.”

The Electric Vehicle Club of CT is the first EV club in the state. The club has staged public-learning events, EV road rallies and showcases, and works with the legislature to advocate for EV-friendly policy.

 

All aboard the Hartford Line!

This past year has been monumental for Connecticut transportation. From the debut of the successful U-Pass CT system to the introduction of the LimeBike program, Hartford is undergoing an enormous shift in transportation options. This weekend, those options will continue to expand. Beginning June 16, the highly-anticipated Hartford Line will connect Hartford residents to Springfield, MA and New Haven, CT. And to kick off the new transit, the Hartford Line will offer free trips during the opening weekend, on June 16-17! Take advantage of this by simply hopping onto the CTrail Hartford Line trains! This service will require complimentary tickets on the Amtrak trains, which will be distributed by Hartford Line staff at ticketing stations this weekend.

This new transit effort is a result of a partnership among the CT Department of Transportation, CTrail, and Amtrak. As an expansion of the current I-91 train infrastructure, the Hartford Line will add CTrail and Amtrak train connections for a total of: 34 trips on the weekdays, 12 trips on Saturdays, and 13 trips on Sundays. This expansion will not only provide more transportation options for commuting residents, but will allow for a shorter transit, since the Hartford Line boasts an average travel time of 80 minutes between Springfield and New Haven, at speeds up to 110 mph.

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The transit cost is also affordable, as the basic one-way fare from Springfield to New Haven is $12.75, with one-way fare from Hartford to New Haven at $8. Commuters also have the option to purchase monthly passes, with the trip between New Haven and Hartford at $168; $126 between Hartford and Springfield; and $267.75 for the entire trek. Additional costs can also secure riders unlimited bus trips to and from the train and monthly parking passes. Importantly, discounts are offered to eligible seniors and people with disabilities, and bring down the fare to about half the cost. Tickets can be purchased at CTrail ticket machines at all Hartford Line stations, excluding Windsor Locks and Windsor. At those stations, customers may purchase one-way tickets online at Amtrak.com, or with the Amtrak mobile ticketing app. Please note that one-way tickets can also be purchased onboard CTrail Harford Line trains, but not on Amtrak trains.

From contributing towards safer roads, lowering traffic congestion, offering more reliable work commutes, and moving towards the retention of internship and job applicants, the Hartford Line provides an opportunity for all residents and visitors. In fact, the DOT predicts that the Hartford Line will divert 1.5 million car trips per year!

As this exciting new transportation option begins, please remember to stay safe and obey the law at rail crossings. Given the increase in rail traffic, residents should never attempt to drive under or around a closing or closed gate at a street-level railing crossing. Trains cannot stop quickly and may even take a mile to come to a complete stop. With that in mind, please stay safe and enjoy this new program! And be sure to ride free this weekend!

To take a look at the entire list of tickets, fares, and schedules, click here!

 

 

Photo Source: Courtesy Of State Department Of Transportation

2018 Hartford Farmer’s Market Season Arrives!

Summer season in Hartford is finally among us. From food truck festivals to art shows, summer in Hartford has a lot to offer. Among these exciting offerings is the availability of Hartford’s seven farmer’s markets. Hartford’s Farmers Markets actively work to increase the accessibility of fresh, healthy food for all Hartford residents and are conveniently located across the city. All accessible via CT transit, these seven markets provide a vital link between city residents, farmers, and healthy produce. As these markets represent the versatility of local Connecticut agriculture, Hartford’s Farmers Markets provide a variety of products – from dairy products to fresh fruits and vegetables to local meats. With something for everyone, Hartford’s Farmers Markets are an incredible addition to the summer season!

Collectively, the Farmer’s Markets are available throughout the weekday! Take a look at the schedule below to see the market availability, times, locations, and example CTtransit bus routes!

Park Street:

  • Dates: July 2 – October 29
  • When: Mondays, 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Where: Corner of Park & Washington Street
  • SNAP/EBT Program: FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 31-33, 50-54, 63, 161

West End:

  • Dates: June 5 – October 30
  • When: Mondays, 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Where: 385 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT 06105
  • SNAP/EBT Program: Unlimited doubling! FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 60, 62, 64, 66

The Old State House:

  • Dates: June 12 – October 30
  • When: Tuesdays & Fridays, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Where: The Old State House – 800 Main Street
  • SNAP/EBT Program: FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 40-42, 50-54, 56

Homestead Avenue:

  • Dates: June 21 – October 11
  • When: Wednesdays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Where: Chrysalis Center – 255 Homestead Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112
  • SNAP/EBT Program: Double up to $20, FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 74, 76, 161

North End:

  • Dates: June 28 – October 25
  • When: Wednesday, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Where: 80 Coventry Street, Hartford, CT
  • SNAP/EBT Program: Unlimited doubling, FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 40-42, 44, 46, 92

Billings Forge:

  • Dates: June 7 – October 25
  • When: Thursdays, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Where: 539 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06105
  • SNAP/EBT Program: Double up to $20, FMNP Authorized
  • Bus Routes: 61, 63, 69

Frog Hollow:

  • Dates: June 1 – November
  • When: Monday & Fridays, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Where: Dirt Lot – 75 Laurel St., Hartford, CT 06106
  • SNAP/EBT Program: Double up to $20
  • Bus Routes: 31/33, 40/42, 60/66, 72

 

 

Photo Source: Diane Church.

Happy World Environment Day!

June 5th is World Environment Day! Today is an annual global observance created by the UN to promote awareness among people for the protection of the environment. Each World Environment Day is centered around a pressing environmental issue, with this year’s theme calling upon the global community to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. While the global host of this year’s WED is India, the call to action spans across the globe. Above all, the World Environment Day is truly a day for the people, where environmental action can be done at the local, national, and international level. So how can you get involved?

  • Pledge to stop using plastic carryout containers or plastic water bottles.
  • Use the recycling and compost bins at events around the city.
  • Participate in one of the upcoming neighborhood cleanups. Check out cleanups hosted by KNOX or find more events led by the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission’s (PRAC) new CleanHartford initiative.
  • Attend an anti-litter campaign meeting hosted by PRAC. The next meeting is June 18th at 5:30PM @ 50 Jennings Road, Hartford.
  • Support Vecinos Unidos, the City of Hartford and CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as we raise awareness of recycling rules in Frog Hollow this summer through a Waste Reduction Initiative grant.

So, Hartford: The Office of Sustainability would like to challenge you to take part in the #beatplasticpollution challenge. Show us what ways you are celebrating #worldenvironmentday and making our community a healthier, greener place.

Do you accept?

 

Photo Source: Vecinos Unidos

BIKESHARE IS COMING TO HARTFORD!

Looking for a new way to get around the city? Want a primer on bike shares? Read on!

This summer, Hartford residents, commuters, and visitors will have a new option to get around the city. LimeBike is launching a bike share pilot program in Harford, and distributing several hundred bikes throughout the city. Bike shares allow for people to share a system of bikes by paying per use. With big cities like Washington DC and New York City already using LimeBike, the availability of these convenient, cost-effective bikes is already changing the way people travel throughout cities.

The LimeBike program model is simple:

  • Download the app. With a quick and free download of the LimeBike app, users can track a LimeBike, pay, track miles and calories, and use it to their liking. If accessing the app is a problem, users can simply call the phone number on the bike to set up an account and pay as they go.
  • Find your bike. All bikes include GPS and are able to find easily.
  • Pay when you’re done. The cost of use is $1 per 30-minute ride, with a discounted rate for qualifying participants.

Before you go: Make sure to understand the rules of the road, and stay safe. Remember:

Rules of the Road:

  • Ride on the right, moving with traffic.
  • Obey traffic signals and signs.
  • In CT, bikes going straight may ride in the left edge of a right turn lane.
  • When making a turn, you can operate like a vehicle, or like a pedestrian, making use of crosswalks and pedestrian lights.
  • In Hartford, bikes can ride on sidewalks, but you must yield to pedestrians.
  • When riding on paths in parks, yield to pedestrians.
  • Helmets are not mandatory but are a good idea.

Know the meaning of road symbols

  • A bike in a narrow lane indicates a bike lane. This is a great place to ride.
  • A bike with a chevron above it is a sharrow. This tells motor vehicle drivers to expect bikes, and indicates to bicyclists where they should ride.

For additional information please click here to watch a video on correct and incorrect LimeBike usage.

LimeBike recently launched Lime Access, a program that lets low-income riders purchase 100 rides for $5. Once a ride is complete, the user can simply lock the bike’s back wheel and responsibly park it between the pedestrian-designed sidewalk and street curb, or at a bike rack – making sure not to block the pedestrian way or driveways.

What’s great about this program is that bike shares are for everyone. Local residents, tourists, downtown office workers, commuters, and college students all benefit from the convenience of bike share mobility. Bike share provides a carbon-free, transportation and exercise option, that is not only affordable, but promotes a healthier city. With fewer cars on the road, this service could help promote the reduction of traffic congestion and improved air quality. This not only translates in healthier residents but in potential economic growth, boosting local tourism economy and attracting more employers and residents.

For more information on grassroots efforts to expand bike and pedestrian use, safety and fun, check out BiCi Co.

 

 

Photo Source: Krystina Martinez / KERA News

 

Ashes to Ashes

ASHES TO ASHES

The race is on to save our Ash trees! The Emerald Ash Borer first reared its green head in Connecticut in 2012, and has the potential to infest and kill nearly 10,000 trees in Hartford alone, and millions across the state! Continue reading “Ashes to Ashes”