The Route 8 & Waterbury Branch Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study has concluded, evaluating the requirements and prospects for enhancing services on the Waterbury Branch Line. It has also examined the viability of alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles, offering insights into options for alleviating congestion and enhancing mobility across Route 8 and Waterbury Branch Line corridors.
An important task of the study was determining the feasibility of Transit-Oriented Developments (TOD) in the vicinity of the Waterbury rail line stations. A TOD integrates land use, transportation, and the environment and results in new housing, jobs, and more sustainable and walkable communities. They are characterized by compact, mixed-use land uses that provide a wide range of housing styles and commercial space choices. To guide the assessment, the study team conducted a series of workshops in each community along the rail line and developed a Visual Preference Survey that allowed residents to describe how they would like to see their downtowns in the future. From these preference surveys, model TOD blocks were created. To read more about possible TOD scenarios in the Naugatuck Valley: TOD Scenario Report
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
While the primary objective of the study is to improve and enhance service on the Waterbury line, other transit actions were also explored. Regular fixed-route bus services operate in the corridor, but they do not provide travel time efficiencies that commuters find attractive. A BRT operation blends the positive features of rail with the flexibility of bus transit, to make riding the bus a higher-end service alternative. The study team explored the merits of enhancing bus service between Derby and Bridgeport, identifying five possible alternatives. The preferred option included the construction of a dedicated busway within the median of Route 8 with limited stops at newly created transit hubs. Feeder bus services would be implemented to move travelers from the transit hubs to their final destinations. This action is considered a long-term vision for the corridor. To learn more about BRT in Naugatuck Valley: BRT Scenario Report