As incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy works to garner votes across Connecticut in preparation for November’s gubernatorial election, New Haven residents have called his attention to a problem that, for Yalies at least, lies a bit closer to home: the city’s public bus service.
Connecticut Transit New Haven, or CT Transit New Haven, has been providing bus service to residents of the Greater New Haven and Lower Naugatuck River Valley areas since 1976. Although the city has made improvements to the bus system over the years, the majority of New Haven residents interviewed remain unsatisfied. In an interview with the New Haven Independent this fall, Malloy said that if there is a problem with the city’s bus system, he will work to fix it if elected.
“The governor is aware of the need [to improve New Haven’s public bus system].” said New Haven’s Transit Chief, Doug Hausladen ’04. He added that Malloy has already invested in the Elm City’s rail system and that the Governor now sees the bus service as “the next place to invest.”
Specifically, Hausladen said the bus system’s greatest need is real-time bus schedule updates in the hands of passengers.
That information may be helpful to a number of residents who complained that the buses are frequently late.
“Never on time. It’s never on time,” said Jasmine Wilkes, a lifelong New Haven resident.
For John Correia, a former resident of Hartford who moved to New Haven 10 months ago, the problem is so pervasive that he decided to make a table comparing the buses’ actual arrival times to the times listed on the schedules. Often he found that buses are anywhere from a half an hour to forty-five minutes late.
Even CT Transit employees are aware that the current system needs improvement. Larry Senburg, one of CT Transit’s bus drivers, said that the schedule is not always convenient for New Haven residents and that this causes the current bus system to be underutilized.
All of the residents interviewed said that Malloy’s promise to improve the bus system would make a difference in how they vote this fall. However, none of them were aware that Malloy had plans to improve the city’s bus system.
To students at Yale, these improvements would be a welcome change.
“The bus is definitely important, because there are a lot of interesting places to visit in New Haven, and it makes getting around a lot easier for students,” said Alan Liu, ’18.
New Haven’s voter turnout in the 2010 gubernatorial race was 46 percent.