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CT bus fares return with new program for smartphone passes

Public transit buses resumed collecting fares across Connecticut Saturday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced. The change affects CTtransit buses and paratransit services for passengers with disabilities. 

The return of paid fares comes a year after the state suspended fees for riders to give residents a break from the rising cost of gasoline and spike in inflation nationwide. The program was initially for three months under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont but was extended for a year.

Also on Saturday, the state launched a pilot program allowing customers access their bus passes from smartphones. Launched in partnership with Token Transit, the program allows customers to buy two-hour adult, senior/disabled and youth bus passes for all local CTtransit and CTfastrak buses on their smartphones, according to CTDOT.

“We’ve heard from the public that they want easier and more accessible payment methods. The partnership with Token Transit allows customers to pay via apps they already use on their devices. Riders will no longer have to worry about finding exact change to ride the bus or losing a paper ticket,” CTDOT Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto said in a release.

A two-hour pass costs $1.75 for most riders, $1.40 for those 5 to 18 years old and 85 cents for seniors and those who have disabilities. A day pass costs $3.50 for most riders, $2.80 for those 5 to 18 and $1.70 for seniors and those who have disabilities. Other fares and pass options are available on at

Customers can either pay the fare on the bus or prepay it. Passes let riders transfer to other buses for free during the time period.  

In a previous report, officials said bus ridership dropped by about 50 percent during the depth of the pandemic. When the free fare program began, bus ridership returned to 70-75 percent of pre-COVID levels in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford.


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