Green Light for Busway

The once-proposed bus rapid transit (or BRT) between Hartford and New Britain could soon become a reality.

The New Britain-Hartford Busway costs $567 million — more than $60 million per mile — and construction is slated for later this spring and could wrap up by the end of 2013. There are 11 stops (with a 12th one coming soon as part of the expansion of Central Connecticut State University) on this particular bus line, which serves the towns of Newington and West Hartford in addition to Hartford and New Britain. It should ease the congestion on Interstate 84.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is also considering the plan for the commuter rail line between Bristol and Waterbury. CT Transit services would be affected, and that’s change for the better, because the ridership of transit services would increase as gasoline prices are on the rise. In Hartford alone, it takes roughly 45 minutes to go to New Britain on the 41–New Britain route. Even with the addition of the new busway that would zip along the I-84 corridor, the Hartford-to-New Britain bus route will still be in use.

Opponents of the new busway include Michael Nicastro, mayor of Bristol, who said it’s ineffective and too costly. “He made sure the can didn’t get kicked down the road,” he said. While he praises Malloy for supporting the rail link from Waterbury to Bristol and then to Hartford, Nicastro is still reluctant to lose it.

I do remember President Obama’s speech on the need for BRT in America. China is whooping our asses butts when it comes to transporting passengers from point A to point B as quickly as possible.  Obama said we need to “out-innovate the world.” This time, he meant it.

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