The state this week launched a new program offering group public transit rates to eligible organizations.

The CTpass program, administered by the Department of Transportation, was approved in the two-year state budget adopted by the legislature in 2021.

The initiative is similar to the U-Pass CT program, which allows students from the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system to use the state’s rail and bus systems free of charge.

Kelli Vallieres, the state's chief workforce officer, said CTpass was designed to eliminate barriers to education and employment.

"Access to high-quality transportation continues to be a fundamental issue for people in getting to work or a job training program and was identified as a priority of the Governor’s Workforce Council Strategic Plan," she said. 

“CTpass will tackle this issue head on by developing an expanded net of organizations who can qualify for group rates, ultimately making transportation more accessible to people who need it most."

Private Sector Eligibility

CBIA advocated for expanding the program to the private sector.

“Many companies struggle hiring and retaining qualified employees due to a lack of transportation," CBIA government affairs associate Ashley Zane said.

"This program is a step in the right direction and will help mitigate looming job deficits across all sectors and increase employment opportunities for all."

Organizations that can now participate in the program include:

  • Those providing training programs listed on the Connecticut Department of Labor Department’s Eligible Training Provider list;
  • Apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program sponsors;
  • Providers of an alternate route to a certification program approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education;
  • Higher education institutions;
  • Private occupational schools;
  • Private employers;
  • State or municipal agencies;
  • Public or nonprofit social service providers

Organizations can apply to join CTpass through the DOT's website.