The purpose of this page is to provide short answers to the most commonly asked questions about the study. Other pages of this website discuss many of these topics in more detail. Please consider exploring the website or sending us your question if you seek more information on a topic.

Overview

What is the Greater Hartford Mobility Study (GHMS)?
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The GHMS is a comprehensive study to identify and address mobility challenges in the Greater Hartford region. This includes how people and goods can best access and move through the area using various modes of transportation.

What is the GHMS vision?
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The vision is to improve mobility by planning an integrated, resilient, multi modal transportation system in the Greater Hartford Region, thereby enhancing the quality of life and economy.

What are the GHMS goals?
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  • Improve the movement of people and goods
  • Increase transportation options, accessibility, reliability, and safety
  • Accommodate future needs and emerging technologies
  • Prioritize social equity
  • Minimize environmental impacts

What will the final product of the GHMS be?
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The product will be a multi-modal implementation plan that includes several short and long-term solutions to address the transportation needs of the Greater Hartford area.

Why did Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) initiate the GHMS?
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By late 2019, there were several initiatives in the Greater Hartford Region, such as the I-84 Hartford Project, CT fastrak expansion, Amtrak / Hartford Line Rail Corridor enhancements, I-84 / I-91 interchange improvements, East Coast Greenway planning, and expanded bicycle and pedestrian networks at different levels of completion.

Independently advancing any one of these projects could interfere or conflict with others. Therefore, the CTDOT decided to assess all of them together with other multi-modal mobility improvement opportunities in one study.

What are the benefits of this broader, comprehensive study?
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The benefit of this broader study is that the team can determine how each individual project could interact with others to achieve the most favorable outcome for the region. In addition to better assessing how the individual projects can affect one another, the broader study allows for:

  • Less duplication of efforts (i.e. different parties will not be studying variations of the same concepts and putting each forward separately),
  • More accurate project phasing because projects are planned and potentially designed together, and
  • Ability to advance early action projects, or “low-hanging” fruit.

Who is conducting the study?
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CTDOT is managing the study, assisted by a consultant team comprised of local area firms including TranSystems Corporation, AECOM, WSP, and FHI Studio.
Study Details

How long will this study take to complete?
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The GHMS began in early 2020 and is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Where in the schedule is the study now?
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The study began in early 2020. As of late Summer 2021, the study team is wrapping up the initial phase, which includes data collection, technical analyses, and identifying potential alternatives. The final phase of the study, which will start in Fall 2021, includes analyzing and screening the alternatives and preparing a final report with recommendations.

Will the GHMS hire scientists to analyze and prioritize environmental impacts and climate change?
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The GHMS is a two-year Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study. This type of study will have planners, engineers, and environmental specialists evaluating environmental factors at a high level using a scenario planning tool (see the Scenario Planning FAQs below). Projects advancing out of the GHMS will be evaluated for environmental impacts in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA). CTDOT will enlist technical experts, as necessary, to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of these projects.

How has transportation changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how will this be incorporated into the GHMS?
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The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted transportation services, travel patterns, and choices throughout 2020. While the transportation services and travel patterns are on the road to recovery in 2021, it is still too early to determine whether the transportation industry will be back to the pre-pandemic levels or to a “new normal” with new travel patterns and choices. The GHMS team is developing and will utilize a scenario planning tool (see the Scenario Planning FAQs below) to evaluate future scenarios, such as how people choose to travel and employment trends, such as working-from-home that many employers are embracing.
Relation to / Incorporation of Other Initiatives

What prior studies and needs will be considered in the GHMS?
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These include, but are not limited to, the I-84 Hartford Project initiatives, CT fastrak expansion, railroad corridor enhancements, I-84/I-91 interchange congestion improvements, and other multimodal transportation improvements, including East Coast Greenway and intercity pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

How does the GHMS relate to the Hartford 400?
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Hartford400 is a river-centered vision for Hartford and surrounding towns in the Connecticut River Valley that integrates environmental, economic, social, transportation, and cultural aspirations. Recommendations from Hartford400 will be considered and evaluated to see if they can help achieve the study goals.

How will the Governor’s Council on Climate Change report recommendations be incorporated into the GHMS?
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The GHMS team is aware of ongoing climate change initiatives and is committed to complying with state mandates. In addition, projects advancing out of the GHMS will be evaluated for environmental impacts in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA). CTDOT will enlist technical experts, as necessary, to evaluate potential environmental impacts of these projects.

Are the alternatives identified in I-84 Hartford Project considered in the Greater Hartford Mobility Study?
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Yes, the GHMS team is considering how concepts developed from the I-84 project could be incorporated into a broader, regional transportation improvement strategy for the Hartford area.

Is improving and expanding CT fastrak being considered as part of the GHMS?
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The team is studying the potential of expanding the CT fastrak service. The study team will be assessing how long it takes to travel between various origins and destinations via car/bus and the competitiveness of each mode.

Will tunnels be considered?
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The GHMS will consider various alternatives that address the transportation challenges in the Hartford area including tunnels.

How will the study balance long-term projects with the immediacy of a potential new infrastructure bill?
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During the initial phase of this study the study team will identify short-term, mid-term and long-term concepts. Reasonable alternatives will advance to final phase for more detailed evaluation. Funding opportunities will also be considered.
Scenario Planning

What is scenario planning?
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Scenario planning is a process whereby experts measure the performance of transportation improvements against several future scenarios. Scenarios are influenced by such factors as land use changes, traveler behavior changes, emerging travel technologies, and transportation policies.

How will the GHMS develop scenarios?
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The scenarios will be developed with input from regional stakeholders, the study’s vision and goals, future land use and travel trends, and identified transportation needs.

What will the scenario planning tool accomplish?
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The scenario planning tool will test potential transportation improvements against multiple future conditions. It will consider how potential improvements will affect environmental, social, and economic conditions (often called the Triple Bottom Line) in the region. The goal is to ensure that today’s investments in transportation are resilient to the changes that will shape our future.

What will the product / outcome of the scenario planning tool be?
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The product of the scenario planning tool will be a model that CTDOT will use to inform decisions.
Get Involved

Will there be a committee or working groups associated with the GHMS?
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Community engagement will inform the GHMS. The study team will hold public events through the process and is beginning to arrange various technical and / or geographic working groups to meet during of the study.

How can the public be involved moving forward?
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The public can be involved with the study by submitting comments about potential transportation improvements, attending virtual and in-person GHMS events, and signing up for the study’s mailing list at hartfordmobility.com/contact. In addition, the public can email comments and questions directly to info@hartfordmobility.com.