May 2, 2022

Senator Haskell Leads Passage of Legislation Improving Rider Experience on CT Buses

Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport), Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee, led the final passage of House Bill 5255, “An Act Concerning Recommendations By The Department of Transportation.” This multi-pronged legislation makes more than a dozen changes to current transport-related statutes. Perhaps most importantly, the bill requires the Department of Transportation to develop a mobile app that will offer riders real-time updates about bus service across the state. The legislation would also allow “blood transport vehicles” to use High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes, ensuring donations can be stored quickly and healthcare workers can be rapidly deployed in the event of an emergency.

“If I step out of my apartment building and want to hop onto the Coastal Link toward Bridgeport or Norwalk, I need to download three different apps in order to figure out when the next bus will arrive,” said Sen. Haskell. “That’s wrong, and the folks who ride Connecticut buses each day deserve better. With nearly 20 transit districts across Connecticut, our bus network is too often logistically disjointed, bureaucratically inefficient and needlessly discombobulated for riders. Developing a single app, incentivizing districts to act regionally, and improving customer service is a major step forward to those of us who believe that you shouldn’t need a car to get to work each day.”

“House Bill 5255 contains 29 total changes to state statutes regarding transportation, ranging from allowing the Department of Transportation Commissioner to modify speed limits during emergencies to minor changes to contracting in the state. Among its most significant changes:

  • The Department of Transportation will be required to develop a mobile app providing transit district service information and trip planning services
  • “Blood transport vehicles,” which are owned by blood-bank and blood-collection facilities, will be allowed to use the High-Occupancy Vehicle lane on highways when transporting blood from a collection point to a hospital or storage center
  • Drivers cannot park within 25 feet of a mid-block crosswalk
  • The DOT commissioner can modify speed limits during weather events or emergencies if the limit is posted on electronic signs
  • The DOT will be required to finish installing wrong way signs on exit ramps from interstate highways prone to accidents by January 1, 2024

This legislation previously passed the House and now proceeds to Governor Lamont’s desk to be signed into law.