Transportation is a critical piece of the job and internship search process and can present an employment barrier for those who don’t have convenient reliable access. If you are able to drive and afford a car (and all the associated costs), that’s a great option, but fortunately that is not the only transportation option in Connecticut. As someone who is not a Connecticut native myself and just moved here a few years ago, it has taken me a while to become familiar with the public transportation system and options. However, due to my own transportation needs and my research throughout the past few years, I have learned a thing or two!
Whether you are unable to drive, do not have access to a car, or are just looking for transportation alternatives, I hope the list below of public transportation resources can help you both access your next interview, internship, or job while at UConn and plan what transportation might look like in your future.
UConn Transportation Services
The UConn Transportation Services team aims to provide safe, clean, and timely passenger services to the Storrs campus and surrounding area. You may already be familiar with their on-campus bus routes, but they also provide many other transportation resources and recommendations, including:
- Regional transit – This page includes a list of bus/transit services in the area.
- Car rentals and ride sharing – This page lists a few car rental and rideshare resources that partner with or operate near UConn.
- Train services – This page provides information about connecting to trains in the area.
- Bicycling – This page includes information about UConn’s Cycle Share Program and the Town of Mansfield Bike Commuter Club.
- Accessible van service – This UConn service involves a fleet of vans that picks up passengers at various locations within a one-mile radius of campus. On their website, you can view a map of their traditional pick-up locations as well as a phone number to inquire about adding a new location to their offerings.
In 2017, Connecticut launched the U-Pass program to provide free and low-cost transportation access to college students throughout the state. UConn is one of 13 colleges participating in the program. Students who obtain a U-Pass can use the pass for unlimited rides on most public bus and rail systems within the state. To see a full list of participating transit systems, visit the CTrides website. To learn more about eligibility for obtaining a U-Pass at UConn and to request yours, visit the U-Pass website.
CT Department of Transportation
The CT Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees all transportation-related matters in the state, including those that relate to highways and bridges, transit (bus, train, ferry), bicycles and pedestrians, and overall transportation planning. They have a number of helpful links on their website outlining the public transportation options in the state, including:
- Passenger Rail Service in Connecticut
- CTrail – Includes 3 different rail lines (New Haven Line operated by Metro-North, Shore Line East, and Hartford Line) and a convenient mobile app called CTrail eTix.
- Amtrak – Provides service to 13 cities and towns in Connecticut.
- Transit and Ridesharing
- CTtransit – Public bus service operating in Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, New Britain, Bristol, Meriden, and Wallingford.
- CTrides – Resource to help riders find bus, train, and rideshare options statewide.
- CTfastrak – First rapid bus transit system in Connecticut, meaning these bus routes utilize a bus-only roadway for all or a portion of the trip.
The DOT also offers paratransit services in all areas with local fixed-route bus services, which includes 12 districts throughout the state. To see a full list of these districts, visit the DOT ADA Paratransit Bus Services website. Use of these paratransit services requires the submission of an application, which is available in both online and printable formats on the CTADA website.
U.S. Cities with Best Public Transportation
If access to quality public transportation is important to you, I would recommend considering how well certain cities are known for their public transportation systems when deciding what your post-grad life might look like. This is of course subjective in some ways, but there are lots of rankings and data out there that can help you form your own opinion. For example, Metro Magazine published the results of a study in February 2020 that outlined the “best and worst cities for commuting on public transportation” in the U.S. based on factors of ridership, costs, time to commute, and earnings. Also, AllTransit has a ranking system on their website that scores cities’ public transportation systems based on their connectivity, access to jobs, and frequency of service.