Rocky Hill, Conn. — Michael Baker International is receiving statewide recognition in Connecticut for its central role in developing CTfastrak, one of the nation’s largest bus rapid transit (BRT) systems that is easing the daily commute for thousands of residents in the cities of Hartford, West Hartford, Newington and New Britain. During its recent Engineering Excellence Awards program, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Connecticut chapter presented Michael Baker’s team with the 2016 Grand Award for its role in developing the busway, the region’s first dedicated mass transit system in more than 50 years that provides an efficient connection to healthcare centers, shopping destinations, educational institutions and businesses in the area.

“Michael Baker International is making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis with our innovative solution for CTfastrak, a model for cities across the nation seeking to address the critical issues of highway congestion, vehicle emissions and the need for smart, sustainable development in growing urban centers,” said Scott Delesdernier, P.E., vice president of Michael Baker’s New England operations and deputy program manager.  “This latest award from ACEC Connecticut offers further evidence that Michael Baker’s work on this project has the potential to impact travel, commerce and overall development in the region for decades to come. Our collaboration and partnership with the Connecticut Department of Transportation helped to ensure the success of CTfastrak, and we are proud to share this award with them.”

Michael Baker led the design, construction and operational implementation of CTfastrak, a 9-1/2-mile bus-only roadway that is aimed at reducing congestion along I-84 in central Connecticut. Designed for speed and efficiency, the system maintains 10 bus stations with platform-level boarding, sheltered seating, bicycle racks and pre-boarding electronic fare collection with ticket vending machines. In addition, Michael Baker developed ridership forecasts, bus schedules and a public information campaign to educate the community on the benefits of a BRT system in the area.

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT), ridership numbers have doubled in the transit corridor since CTfastrak began offering service last year.

This is the second award Michael Baker has received for its work on CTfastrak. Last October, the company accepted the 2015 Urbanism Award from the Congress for New Urbanism New England Chapter for its role in launching CTfastrak.