Formation, Members, & Service Area
The Windham Region Transit District was formed in accordance with Chapter 103a of the Connecticut General Statutes in 1979 with the towns of Windham, Mansfield, and Coventry voting to join. Subsequently, Ashford, and Columbia joined the district. Representatives from these five towns meet quarterly, or more frequently, to act on matters necessary in managing the district’s affairs. WRTD’s service area, however, includes all nine towns of the Windham Region (Ashford, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Lebanon, Mansfield, Scotland, Willington and Windham.)
Dial-A-Ride began serving the region in the fall of 1976. WRTD became the region’s primary Dial-A-Ride provider by 1981, eventually becoming the region’s primary federal and state funding recipient. The Storrs-Willimantic Bus fixed route service began operations in October of 1981. The Willimantic City Bus fixed route service began operations in March of 1989. The Willimantic-Norwich Rt. 32 Commuter Bus service between Willimantic-Norwich and Foxwoods Resort Casino began in April of 2000. While all WRTD services are open to the public, the Willimantic-Norwich Rt. 32 Commuter Bus Service is particularly intended to help individuals access employment and employment-related activities.Willimantic-Danielson Deviated Fixed Route service connecting WRTD and Northeast Area Transit District twice a day began in September, 2007. As of 2021, the University of Connecticut’s campus shuttle routes are set to come under WRTD operation by 2022/23.
Funds to pay for WRTD’s services come from the Federal Transit Administration, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the ten towns of the Windham Region, fares, donations, and advertising revenue.
Benefits Provided by WRTD
Nearly 200,000 passenger trips were provided on WRTD’s various services through between July 2017 and June 2018.
Provides mobility not otherwise available to:
- those permanently or temporarily without a car, with limited access to a car, or those who don’t drive;
- those with temporary or permanent injuries or disabilities which prevent use of a car;
- those who need support services in order to continue to live in their homes (medical services, food shopping, etc.);
- those who without such service would be forced into costly personalized care such as a nursing home, possibly at public cost.
Economic & Employment
Brings customers to the region’s retail centers and provides increased sales to area businesses. Improves access to jobs and job training opportunities.
Provides access to educational opportunities at the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Windham Technical High School, Windham High School, E.O. Smith High School, as well as the Mansfield Public Library and the Willimantic Public Library.
Reduces the need for parking spaces at area retail and employment centers.
Decreases the number of vehicles crowding the region’s roads, thereby lessening air pollution.
Reduces the number of vehicles on the roads resulting in fewer traffic jams and fewer accidents.
WRTD coordinates its own transit services within the region with those of other carriers serving the region.