HARTFORD — Weekend Wheels, the fare-free CTtransit bus service, available to everyone in Connecticut each weekend this summer, has been extended to include all local transit district bus routes statewide.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced in March plans to launch Weekend Wheels as part of efforts to help the state and its residents recover from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is being supported with funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

Under the initiative, customers will not be required to pay any bus fares on Saturdays and Sundays during 2021 from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The fare-free bus service includes the observed Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5, and the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 6.

Bus services in this promotion include all CTtransit local routes, all routes operated by transit districts and Americans With Disabilities Act paratransit services.

The governor said that the fare-free weekend bus service dovetails with other pandemic recovery initiatives launched this summer, such as his proposal to create a program that will allow all children in Connecticut to visit museums and other tourist attractions throughout the state free of charge this summer, such as Beardsley Zoo, the Connecticut Science Center and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, all of which are on bus routes with weekend service.

“In addition to offering some economic relief to families that rely on bus service, this fare-free weekend initiative will encourage residents to visit locally owned businesses and help support Connecticut’s economy in communities that have been heavily affected by the economic impact of the pandemic,” Gov. Lamont said. “I am appreciative of the local transit districts that are partnering with the state on Weekend Wheels.”

“While Connecticut’s bus and train systems were never shut down as a result of the pandemic, unfortunately many local businesses and organizations had no other option than to pause or curtail their operations,” state Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said. “This fare-free bus service will allow people to get to many of the state’s great destinations that are served by CTtransit and local transit district bus routes.

“By using Weekend Wheels, residents can visit museums, get to the beach, attend baseball games, shop in local stores and patronize local restaurants and breweries. 

“This connection is crucial in jump-starting our economy that was impacted by the virus. We can also reconnect families and friends who have been forced apart due to the pandemic.”

Passengers are still required to cover their mouths and noses with a mask or face covering while on all buses, in adherence with the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that everyone must continue wearing masks on public transportation whether or not they have been vaccinated, as well as federal requirements from the Transportation Security Administration.

Passengers should continue practicing social distancing on all buses, at stops and while entering and exiting the bus. They should also not use public transportation if they feel sick. 

Enhanced cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC are being used on all buses in Connecticut for the foreseeable future.

Additional information about routes and destinations offered by CTtransit may be found at CTtransit.com.

Those seeking additional information about local bus operations, may visit CTrides.com or call CTrides during weekday business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-287-4337. 

A directory of local bus operators in Connecticut is also available on the Department of Transportation website, www. portal.ct.gov/dot.

Private intercity bus routes are not eligible for the fare-free weekend service.

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