Resources for Commuters
Whether you already Live! Car-Free! or are just looking to take a car-free trip, these resources can help you make sustainable travel plans.
Thinking about trying out other types of transportation, but not sure where to start? CTrides is a free service, funded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, that helps commuters find the best way to get to work or school and offers information and resources for travel options throughout Connecticut. Call them and they can help build you a personalized route.
Know How to Go offers a list of publicly available transit providers in New Haven. Google Maps is also an easy tool to use to figure out a route.
New Haven is a walkable city with plentiful and accessible sidewalks. While you may not live close to work, commuting is only one part of active transportation. Walking can get you to the store, restaurants, and around your neighborhood while you get exercise!
Biking is an inexpensive, reliable, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. New Haven is flat and relatively compact, making cycling a feasible mode of transportation in the city. New Haven is becoming increasingly bike friendly as advocates and the City work together to build cycling culture and infrastructure for cyclists.
In 2014, the League of American Bicyclists recognized New Haven as Bronze Level Bicycle-Friendly Community, and then in 2018 elevated our status to the Silver Level. The League's recognition cemented New Haven's reputation as a city where the ability to bike between destinations is becoming easier every year. In 2015, bipartisan leadership led the passage of SB 502, the "Bike Bill." This paved the way for the State of Connecticut to award the City of New Haven $1.2 Million to build Connecticut's first protected two-way bike lane on Edgewood Avenue. Construction will begin in 2017. New Haven has also chosen New Haven Smart Mobility to bring bike share to the city in 2017.
If you're new to biking and want to explore New Haven cycling culture, get involved in New Haven Bike Month and New Haven Bike Party events!
Advocacy and Event Groups
CTtransit is the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)-owned bus service. Several companies that contract with CTDOT operate services in metropolitan areas throughout Connecticut. New Haven also has various private bus service providers, such as the Yale Shuttle. For other providers in Greater New Haven check Know How to Go: South Central CT.
CTtransit New Haven operates over 22 local routes. Many routes operate 7 days a week, connecting with other state-owned or subsidized bus services in Meriden, Waterbury, Wallingford, Milford, and the lower Naugatuck Valley areas, as well as with the New Haven Line and Shore Line East rail services.
Taking a bus is a great option - not only is it ~60 times safer than driving, but you can use the time to work, read, or relax. Best of all, you don't need to worry about parking. CTtransit also allows bikes on busses, with bike racks attached to the front of all CTtransit vehicles.
The Greater New Haven Region is participating in a transit and mobility study called Move New Haven. Move New Haven is a 16-month study seeking to realign the New Haven CTtransit network to improve access to jobs and educational institutions by providing a broader range of transit services. Move New Haven’s goal is to increase ridership by 25% in the next five years, while also enhancing accessibility to destinations outside the City of New Haven downtown core, such as major retail and employment centers, and to better connect residents to jobs and people to their communities.
Google Maps is also an easy tool to figure out what busses you need to take. CTtransit just rolled out real-time information on New Haven busses as well as smart card electronic fare boxes which will make the system easier to use! Download the Transit App to access real-time information.
Buy CTtransit Passes:
Online (Allow 5-7 business days for delivery)
In Person at the CTtransit Customer Service & Sales Outlet on the New Haven Green (Chapel Street)
Monday - Friday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 3:00Ppm
Prepaid Fares Coordinator
PO Box 66
Hartford, CT 06141-0066
Make check payable to CTtransit or pay with your
While New Haven serves as a stop for Amtrak lines that connects it to the rest of the country, it is also a local hub and terminus for commuter trains from all directions.
Metro-North has its terminus in New Haven and offers hassle-free commuting to many stations along the way to Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
Shore Line East offers service from New Haven east to New London. It also offers a variety of rider resources, including trip-planning and connecting bus and train services.
Launched in May 2018: The new Hartford Line, also known as the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) Rail Program, will provide enhanced rail service between New Haven and Springfield. See the fact sheet about the Hartford Line here.
Buy Train Passes:
Metro North & Shoreline East
Unlike cars, active transport is accomodating of people with limited personal mobility or other disabilities. The South Central Regional Council of Governments and the Kennedy Center, Inc. have partnered to create Know How to Go: South Central Connecticut, a resource for paratransit services and more.
Carpool and Vanpool
Carpooling and vanpooling can significantly cut your parking costs and reduce wear-and-tear on your vehicle. Some employers, including Yale and Yale-New Haven Hospital, offer a Guaranteed Ride Home program to people who share the ride to work. Some employers also allow the use of pre-tax salary to pay for monthly vanpool expenses. Learn more about that here.
Sometimes the best commute is the one that isn’t taken at all. Teleworking from home offers you the same productivity without any of the costs of a commute. Indeed, benefits of telework include business continuity, increased productivity, overhead cost savings, and more.
Encourage your employer to talk to CTrides about establishing a teleworking program. CTrides can offer free guidance in customizing a telework program to suit your workplace needs.
If you don't have a car or just need a car for a short trip, Zipcar can help. Zipcar offers short-term rentals of cars and vans, with a growing number of spaces and locations across the city. For many people, Zipcar can be cheaper than owning a car and can be combined with other forms of active transportation. Zipcar is available to individuals and organizations.
Have to own a personal vehicle? Consider switching to a cleaner vehicle to get around, Charging stations are being added around Connecticut, making for a "range confident" state. For more information about rebates, incentives, and other benefits to electric cars, take a look at our useful tools.
As you think about the different ways to get around, take a look at these useful tools available to help you plan your commute.
Emergency Ride Home
Unexpected circumstances can make it difficult to commute sustainably. With the Emergency Ride Home program, CTrides will reimburse commuters who meet guidelines for their trip up to four times a year. The program is available for any commuter who use express buses or trains with a Monthly Pass. It is also available to those who carpool, vanpool, and bike if their employer signs up for the ERH program, Call 1-877-CTrides (1-877-287-4337).
Transit On Google Maps
Google Maps is a nationwide service that can be used to search for locations and find directions between multiple destinations. You can get directions that take into consideration many different forms of transportation, including biking, public transit, walking, or driving. It also includes frequent updates on traffic information so you can see how much time you're saving by using an alternative method of travel!
Free Trial Rides
If you're unsure about bus or vanpool commuting, why not try it for free? CTrides offers 10-trip passes for commuters who want to try commuting sustainably. Call 1-877-CTrides (1-877-287-4337) to try out this exciting method of commuting.
New Haven Union Station Shuttle Tracker
Street Smarts is a program to educate everyone who uses the street. Whether they bike, walk, or drive, Street Smarts teaches people how to share the road. Consider enrolling in Street Smarts' Safe Driver Program, read its Guide to Safety, and review the Smart Cycling Handbook.
The New Haven Union Station Shuttle that travels from Union Station to the New Haven Green has real-time GPS! Download Ride Systems, choose New Haven as the location, and immediately access a timetable of stops letting you know exactly where the free Union Station Shuttle is. A “live tracker” map pinpoints that location along an outlined green route, with a circled white square representing the shuttle as it moves.
Get Discounts with CTrides
Check out Transit App: a smartphone application that tracks public transportation options in real-time. It lists arrival times and directions for transit routes near you, including bus, subway, bike share, Uber, and more. Download it on the App Store or Google Play. The app also works in New York City!
The Transit Rewards Program provides you with discounts and incentives when you ride CTfastrak, Hartford Line, or Shore Line East. Just show your transit ticket or pass, or a downloadable coupon provided on their website to receive discounts and incentives at participating restaurants, retailers, special events, and more!
SeeClickFix connects New Haven residents with their government services and their data. The platform can be used to report issues and discuss them with your neighbors, other concerned citizens, and the city.
National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration’s SaferRide app helps keep drunk drivers off our roads by allowing users to call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. For Apple or Android.