Opening up the City METROHART Grove Street Alley


(Metro Hartford Rapid Transit)

Monorail, Light Rail, Subway, or Hybrid?

The image above is a satellite view of the Hartford area. The Connecticut River, which divides the eastern and western regions is visible in the center. Superimposed over this photograph is the proposed route for a rapid transit line. The 9.5 mile conduit (dubbed METROHART) stretches from West Hartford Center to Manchester, near the East Hartford line.

Phase 1

The first phase would consist of multi modal transportation depot at the junction of three interstate highways just outside of Hartford. It would be connected to the city via a 5.5 mile rapid transit line. Most of the route to Riverfront Plaza would follow the HOV lanes.

The Depot

A large commuter parking garage would be constructed using air rights above I-384. The structure would also serve as a hub for shuttles to UCONN in Storrs, buses that circulate the Buckland Hills area, and other regional routes. Down at grade level trains would connect to Hartford via the HOV lanes.

The site of the proposed muti modal transportation depot is located on I-384 in Manchester, between Spencer and Hillstown Streets. It is easily accessed from interstates 84, 384 and even 291.

Direct access between the interstates and garage would spare the local streets from congestion. The existing approach to the restricted lane from I-384 could be modified to enter the garage. Perhaps, there could be direct access from I-84 as well.

The depot, which is adjacent to the extensive bike trail system could be interconnected with Manchester Community College.

The HOV route

The trains, which would connect the depot to Hartford would run in the HOV lanes for most of the route. They would be in a position to capture exposure as they pass motorists during peak hours.

As soon as the train departs (the Spencer Street Depot) for Hartford, it begins its ascent up to sunset ridge near the East Hartford - Manchester line. About a minute or two later, the panorama of the city and western hills appears to be set on a platter. The train stops briefly at Forbes Street (Showcase Cinemas), Rentschler, Main Street (East Hartford) and East River Drive before crossing the river into Hartford.

Phase 2

Ultimately, METROHART would extend to West Hartford Center via Farmington Avenue. Stops in downtown Hartford would include Riverfront Plaza, State House Square, Civic Center and Union Place. West of downtown, METROHART would follow Farmington Avenue. Heading west, stations would include Broad, Sigourney, Woodland, Sisson, Prospect, Quaker Lane and West Hartford Center.

Revamped Bus Routes

Presently all but 2 bus routes make their way into downtown Hartford, using what is known as the hub and spokes pattern. Congestion and redundancy in the central core are byproducts of this system. Time consuming commutes don't help in it being perceived as an inferior mode of transportation. Could a bus system with routes that supplement a rapid transit line help change this perception?

A rapid transit system and bus system that complement each other is essential to the success of both. This plan suggests that some bus routes operate more locally - feeding or intersecting METROHART in lieu of going into downtown. For example, a South Windsor - Glastonbury route via Main Street in East Hartford would stay on the east side of the river.

Some key stations could be hubs for buses operating in their respective regions. West Hartford Center would be a hub for buses to Farmington, Westfarms Mall and Bishops Corner. At the other end, Spencer/MCC would be a hub for Buckland Hills and UCONN shuttles as well as some Manchester routes.


The following page offers a tour through this cross section of Hartford. The diagram features hyperlinks (opening in their own window) to many important sites along or near the corridor.

> > > Click here for METROHART diagram > > >

copyright © 2001, 2002, 2006 Bill Mocarsky email - phone - 860-874-7164