Category Archives: Mass Transit

Vermont’s Broken Road

Vermont is one of the states hardest hit by Hurricane Irene two weeks ago. The major artery of Vermont, Route 4, received serious damage, crippling traffic for Vermonters who use that road.

When I watched “The Rachel Maddow Show” last night — yeah, I know… shocker — it got me thinking about how many roads, let alone bridges,  across the country either in need of repair or replacement. This includes Route 4 in Vermont within the town of Mendon, especially after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. “You know, you say problem, and Vermonters say challenge,” Maddow says. But if you can’t find another road to detour, what do you do? Vermonters turn to hiking through the woods.

Vermonters, who do have the option to drive but can’t drive or walk, can still get to Route 4 by following a long detour, sending them south via Route 103 to I-91. That’s and extra 80 miles!

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Car-mageddon!

The I-405 freeway in Southern California officially shut down temporarily Friday night.

Here’s  a reason not to visit the Los Angeles area (or California, for that matter) this weekend.

One of the busiest freeways in the country, I-405 through the Los Angeles area, was shut down due to a widening project, thus creating the well-hyped “Carmageddon.”  The project may include the demolition of the Mullholland Bridge. Residents have been told to stay home or seek public transportation, and if they must drive, seek alternate routes.

But why did they pick this weekend to close that section of I-405? They could have picked, as Jay Leno joked in his monologue, “Thanksgiving and Christmas so our relatives can’t get to us.”

There will be no shortage of “Ha-ha! I survived Carmageddon, bitches!” T-shirts come Monday morning.

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.

New Buses are Coming to Hartford!

Connecticut is pleased to put the new 60-foot buses onto its cities’ streets. The Hartford division of CT Transit will unveil Connecticut’s first high-capacity articulated transit buses set to arrive this fall. The model is called the LFS Artic from Nova Bus, the same company whose buses Connecticut leased some 15 years ago.

But before the buses can hit Hartford streets, CT Transit has to make some changes with the bus stops in Downtown Hartford. The changes include, but are not limited to, the discontinuation of bus stop for Route 30 (Bradley Flyer) at Travelers and the bust stop for Route 69 (Capitol Avenue) in front of Bushnell Towers. More information about the bus stop changes around Downtown Hartford can be seen on www.cttransit.com.

New Britain Eye Candy

Worth the wait.

New Buses Coming to New Britain, Bristol

It’s official!!!!! After 13 long years have passed by — as per mandate — CT TRANSIT’s new buses are on their way onto New Britain and Bristol streets. Because the New Britain/Bristol division has the oldest fleet, it’s the first in line for the new buses.

These buses are from New Flyer and 35 feet long, unlike their counterparts from Hartford or New Haven at 40 feet, and they use diesel fuel. They are part of the $152 million stimulus package for transit projects and purchases Connecticut received last year.

More people on buses mean fewer cars on the road – and that translates into reduced congestion and cleaner air.
M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut Governor (R)

Look for the new buses in the New Britain and Bristol areas starting this spring!