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.
Construction for the new busway between Downtown New Britain and Union Station in Hartford got underway last week. But officials are trying to derail the proposed $573 million project that was on the backburner for over a decade. The route would be 9.4 miles long, making underpasses with I-84 and Route 9.
There are residents of New Britain, Bristol, Meriden, and other surrounding towns who say the busway is a waste of taxpayer money and that money should have been used to fix the roads and improve the highways. New Britain mayor Tim Stewart said the busway is key in the “revitalization of Downtown New Britain and would benefit the entire region.” This would also help benefit those who require public transportation — if they don’t drive, and take cars off I-84 traveling from New Britain to Hartford. Many also argue that the busway would bring ATV riders onto the busway route.
Busway: Will it, or won't it, go forward?
Hey Connecticut, you’ve got less than three years, four months, and seven days to construct a form of rapid transportation that is called a busway connecting the two cities in Central Connecticut. Think you can do it?
Since the late 1990s, there have been massive talks about the proposed Hartford-New Britain Busway. Yes, it is a proposal. No, not one stitch of progress has been made. For the past 5 years, the Busway has been all talk but no action. But the day construction of the $569 million project breaks ground will be the day the Connecticut government stopped talking and started working.
The Busway will affect some of the routes in the CTTRANSIT Hartford Division as well as all the routes operated by New Britain Transportation, a subsidiary of CTTRANSIT. Homes and businesses were displaced during the proposal of the Busway as the state acquired 17 out of 22 properties around the Busway.
The Busway, if completed by 2013, will serve 11 stops within the communities in Hartford, West Hartford, Newington, and New Britain. But apples to apples, if the busway does not launch by 2013, it could be another I-291. Remember when I-291 was to be constructed as a ring around the suburbs of Hartford? The proposed project included the northern terminus of present-day CT Route 3 as the highway shifted westward through Rocky Hill and Newington bypassing the Berlin Turnpike before curving northward toward present-day CT Route 9. The loop would be complete with proposed interchanges with Farmington Avenue, Albany Avenue, and North Main Street in West Hartford as well as Bloomfield and Blue Hills Avenues in Bloomfield. Unfortunately the I-291 that was built crosses the Connecticut River at Putnam Highway in Windsor heading eastward into I-84 in Manchester.
Granted, the Busway could ease the traffic off of I-84 and I-91 going away from Hartford.