CT Fastrak

High Tech > Specialty Systems

McPhee Electric, Ltd Farmington office recently completed the installation of the Intelligent Transportation & Communications Systems infrastructure for the 9.4 mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The BRT system is essentially a rapid transit corridor called CTfastrak that will link downtown New Britain and our capitol city, Hartford, with the hopes of easing the chronic congestion along the I-84 corridor. The BRT acts as sort of a surface subway system that incorporates a dedicated right-of-way roadway between the ten stops. This two-lane roadway allows only public transit vehicles to navigate the route thereby cutting down on increasing overcrowding that builds during rush hour travel. Additionally, by incorporating traffic signal priority at the five intersections along the dedicated route, the BRT vehicles spend far less time waiting at traffic lights. Other highlights of the recently completed system include off-board fare collection, platform level boarding, a parallel bicycle/pedestrian lane & real-time information apps.


McPhee electricians installed a complete system comprised of video surveillance, audio security, localized/transit-wide paging and real-time information.


The backbone of the system is a forty-eight strand fiber optic cable that links the New Britain bus station with the Connecticut Transit Bus Operations Center on the northern edge of Hartford. While the majority of this fourteen mile link was installed within a conduit system beneath the new roadway, the last 3.5 miles had to be installed along the I-84/I-91 artery in less than ideal conditions. This backbone provides the valuable links needed to each of the eighteen traffic system equipment enclosures that were installed at each station and traffic intersection.


The video system furnished by Siemens contains a total of 140 PTZ Pelco Spectra cameras that are able to view a majority of the busway, stations, intersections and parking areas.


The audio security system is comprised of forty (40) Code Blue phones installed at key points of each station to provide emergency signaling and first responder connection during an unfortunate event.


Daktronics, Inc of South Dakota manufactured the 35 video message displays (VMD) that provide real-time information regarding the arrivals & departures of each bus on the roadway. In addition to creating the network that encompasses all of the systems, Trapeze Group of Cedar Rapids, IA was able to incorporate a text-to-speech control allowing the visually impaired to understand what is currently displayed on each VMD. The real-time Transit App for iPhone and Android spares the anxiety of when your bus will arrive and actually allows the rider to see exactly where their bus is on a map.


McPhee is not only proud to be instrumental in the build of the longest BRT in America but also part of a project that boosts public transit ridership, decreases the number of vehicles on the highway and reduces pollution in our cities.  


This project was featured in CONNstruction Magazine's Fall 2015 edition.  View the article here.