Many students find it an advantage to attend school in a major metropolitan area. A school like MIT, for example, has the Boston area as an obvious amenity.
Attending the University of Connecticut involves no such advantage, but the state is doing what it can to bridge that gap. So the sooner than anticipated success of a CTfastrak expansion should perhaps not come as a surprise, though it did face its fair share of doubters.
Extended to connect the UConn campus in Storrs with Hartford and commercial centers in Manchester, CTfastrak has accommodated more than 32,000 passengers, a scale that was not expected until 2030.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called it “a tremendous success,” for both students and faculty and cited the potential benefits for Hartford.
“We are investing in the continued prosperity of our state,” he said. “It’s imperative that we continue to support and invest in UConn.”
One of the goals, of course, is to do what’s possible to keep students from leaving the state once their educational pursuits here are completed.
UConn President Susan Herbst told the Associated Press students are taking advantage of the service for employment, academic and social opportunities.
Plans are to extend the service, with connections, for example, to Bradley International Airport.
The state Department of Transportation, UConn and the state university system collaborated on a U-Pass program that provides unlimited rides on Connecticut buses and trains. The U-Pass program is included in university fees. Herbst said about 9,000 UConn students have taken advantage of the program so far.
Though it’s a small state, Connecticut is diverse and has a lot to offer. Making it easier for students to get around is not only good for their experience but for the future of the state and its capital as well.