Hartford-New Britain Busway Projected For Service In 2013
May 19, 2009
NEW BRITAIN — - If the federal government comes through with $275 million later this year, just how soon could commuters expect that rapid transit buses would begin shuttling between New Britain and Hartford on a new buses-only highway?
Sometime in late 2013, according to state transportation officials.
Even though the long-discussed Hartford-to-New Britain busway is years behind schedule and far over its original budget, planners say the project is on track now. And they're inviting the public to see their plans for a roughly 9.5-mile bus highway with 11 stations.
Most everyone involved in Connecticut transportation planning agrees that the busway stands to substantially affect Greater Hartford's transit patterns and New Britain's prospects for revitalization. But that's where the consensus ends: Advocates say it's the most economical and practical way to create rapid transit — and new commercial development — along a heavily used corridor, while opponents call it an already outdated boondoggle that will kill chances to build a better commuter rail network for central Connecticut.
New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart foresees the busway giving a huge economic boost to downtown New Britain, with developers building apartments or condos for workers commuting to the city. But state Sen. Donald DeFronzo, D-New Britain, says the city would benefit far more by getting a station along the planned Springfield-to-New Haven commuter rail route, something that can't happen if the busway is built over an out-of-service rail line to downtown.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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