It was in 1980 that Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency (CRERPA) director Stan Griemmann began pitching the idea of a transit district to the nine estuary towns. Between 1980 and 1981 the nine towns joined to create the Estuary Transit District, and in May 1981 the board of directors adopted its first by-laws.
Although the district was created in 1981, it only offered service two to three days a week until 1996, when they took over the eastern portion of the Dattco S Route. This route became the Shoreline Shuttle, and would remain the district’s only daily service until 2005.
It was not until 2005 that the district began to take on its current form. The Riverside Shuttle service from Chester to Old Saybrook was started, the district began directly operating service after 24 years of contracting operations, and two Dial-A-Ride routes were added. Then, in 2009, Old Saybrook to Middletown service was implemented. In 2010, Old Saybrook to New London service began.
Today, ETD provides over 100,000 annual passenger trips, connects to four transit districts and two passenger rail services and serves twelve towns.
1976 – The towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex join together to provide transportation within the three towns in response to the gas crisis.
May 1978 – The Lower Connecticut Valley Selectman’s Association endorsed a five-year plan including public transportation
January 1980 – Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency (CRERPA) director Stan Griemann proposes a transit district for the valley-shore region. Deep River is first to join the new district, and the other eight towns follow over the next year.
May 1981 – The Estuary Transit District (ETD) Board of Directors adopts its first by-laws, officially creating the regions first transit district.
Summer 1981 – The Tri-Town bus service operating on demand in the towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex begins running only two days a week, replacing the service begun in 1976. The service is operated by the Estuary Council of Seniors.
January 1983 – ETD receives its first state and federal operating grants, a total of $29,000.
July 1984 – The “Shoreline Bus” begins service between Old Saybrook and Clinton, connecting with the Connecticut Transit bus in Clinton. The bus runs on Saturdays only, runs three round trips, and offers free fares. The bus is operated by the Liberty Bus Company of Chester.
1985 – Connecticut Transit announces an end to New Haven commuter service east of Clinton, eliminating the Shoreline’s weekday public transit service.
July 1987 – After two years of requests by the ETD Board of Directors, ConnDOT contracts with Dattco to restore bus service between Old Saybrook and New Haven.
July 1996 – ETD takes over the eastern portion of the S Route, creating the Shoreline Shuttle, operating Monday through Friday with two buses. The new route provides a connection to the S Route service to New Haven.
1999 – A third bus is added to the Shoreline Shuttle to keep up with increasing demand.
July 2002 – The Tri-Town service is eliminated and replaced with “The Bus”, a demand response service running Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
June 2004 – ETD adopts the name 9 Town Transit to re-brand the district and remove the image that the district was only a senior service.
November 2005 – ETD ends its operating contract and begins direct operation of all services. Shortly after, ETD begins operation of the Dial-A-Ride service previously provided by the Estuary Council of Seniors.
2008 – Service begins between Old Saybrook and Niantic Monday through Friday.
July 2009 – The Mid-Shore Express begins weekday service between Old Saybrook and Middletown, providing a connection to CT Transit Hartford and Middletown Area Transit.
December 2009 – Hours are expanded on Dial-A-Ride services to 6:15 AM – 5:45 PM Monday through Friday and 8:15 AM – 3:45 PM Saturday.
June 2010 – A GPS based scheduling system is launched, improving on-time performance and offering text message alerts and online trip booking.
July 2010 – The Southeast Shuttle replaces the Niantic service with an Old Saybrook to New London route and a connection to Southeast Area Transit.
December 2010 – Riverside Shuttle hours are expanded to 6:25 AM – 8:00 PM on weekdays and an additional evening run is added to the Shoreline Shuttle.
May 2011 – ETD becomes purchases the first two hybrid mini-buses in New England.
June 2011 – ETD selected from 4,000 member agencies as CTAA Rural System of the Year
December 2011 – Hours are doubled on the Saturday Shoreline Shuttle route. A Saturday connection to New Haven is also added by CT Transit on the S Route. Ridership for 2011 exceeds 85,000, growing 34% over 2010.
April 2012 – Mid-Shore Express hours are expanded to operate all day and service is added in Haddam. Southeast Shuttle hours are extended.
June 2012 – The town of Haddam contracts 9TT to add Haddam to the Dial-A-Ride service area.
January 2013 – Three more hybrid buses are received, making 40% of the fleet hybrid electric.
September 2013 – Valley-Shore YMCA names 9TT their Strong Community Business of the Year.
December 2013 – 9TT tops 100,000 annual passenger trips.
January 2014 – The town of East Haddam contracts 9TT to add East Haddam to the Dial-A-Ride service area.
July 2014 – The town of Durham contracts 9TT to provide Dial-A-Ride service.
November 2014 – Vista Vocational and Life Skills Center awards 9TT with the Community Support Award.