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Driving Into Hartford Saturday Night? Your Best Bet Might Be Public Transportation

Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public Radio

A series of events in and around Hartford this Saturday night is expected to create major traffic headaches. But the Department of Transportation is reminding eventgoers that there are options out there besides getting in your car and contributing to the gridlock.

“We have a fantastic bus network, our CTfastrak service,” said Rich Andreski, the DOT's bureau chief for public transportation. “We also have our Hartford rail line. We move people around the state, as many as 84 million annually on our transit system. So we are always looking out for special events that might yield an increase in travel.”

This Saturday night in Hartford will be a perfect storm of special events - fireworks and food trucks at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Cirque Du Soleil, rapper Wiz Khalifa at the Xfinity Theater, not to mention ConnectiCon at the Connecticut Convention Center, a Hartford Yard Goats baseball game, and Hartford Athletic's first match in Dillon Stadium.

Andreski says the train or bus may be the best option to get into the city. To help entice more people to take public transportation, the DOT is offering late-night service on the CTrail Hartford Line in both directions Saturday night. A special southbound train has been added at 12:20 am, while northbound service will provide buses that leave Hartford at 11:15 pm and 12:00 midnight. Parking will be free at the Windsor Locks, Windsor, Berlin, Meriden and Wallingford train stations.

CTfastrak will also run late this weekend, until 12:45 am and Andreski said they have added a special route to Hartford's Dillon Stadium for Hartford Athletic's soccer match.

“I really feel strongly that the most convenient and fun way to get to these events is by public transportation,” said Andreski. “You save the hassle, avoid the traffic, and you can go out afterward and celebrate and get home conveniently.”

Andreski said first-time riders on CTfastrak and CTrail should to map out their route this weekend by going to ctrides.com.

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