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IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

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Ya Knkw what?

I didnt think of it that way. I was thinking that the environmental studies slowed down the other rail line, so they were being proactive, but you might be right. the DOT likely allready got its kickbacks on this busway, and they need to deliver on promised money

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It is already too late to stop the Busway. I take that back. Based on what Lamont had to say he may be the only chance at stopping it and actually getting us to look at a real East-West rail corridor for Central CT.

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It is already too late to stop the Busway. I take that back. Based on what Lamont had to say he may be the only chance at stopping it and actually getting us to look at a real East-West rail corridor for Central CT.

Maybe I spoke too soon. It seems like everyone running for office is now lining up to kill the Busway and get working on Waterbury to Hartford rail. I think we here at UP Hartford do deserve some credit for helping to build momentum for this conversation to happen. It needs to happen and the only thing I will say is that the rail option honestly is a must. It has to be built at some point so lets use the busway money and get going.

Bristol Press

BRISTOL — The $573 million tab for the proposed busway between New Britain and Hartford is “a lot of money in today’s economy,” Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele said to business leaders Thursday.

“I think somebody should put on the brakes,” said Fedele, who is hoping to win the Republican nomination for governor.

“I think rail long term is a better solution,” Fedele told members of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce.

Bristol Press

BRISTOL — Adding to the growing campaign trail skepticism about the proposed $573 million busway between Hartford and New Britain, Democratic gubernatorial contender Dan Malloy said this week that he might side with critics who prefer a commuter rail line instead.

Malloy said the decision to leave Bristol out of the busway “is really inexplicable.”

The former Stamford mayor said he wants to see a railroad that would run from Waterbury to Bristol to Hartford — and beyond.

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it is nice to see the elected, and the hopefull elected all generally falling on the same side of the fence for once. the right side.

It is so absolutely obvious how limiting of a plan the busway is.

I only worry that someone will find some reason not to get the rail way built.

But DAYUM. if you look back a few pages at the maps I put together and the pupulations of the communities served, its downright insanity to go any other way.

the regional rail would look really good with the commuter rail and the waterbury line.

I honestly feel that the next priority after that would be a light rail serving the inner suburbs and associated commercial centers or points of interest. By this I mean West Hartford Center, Downtown hartford, Rentschler Field, The Meadows Music Center yada yada yada.

and after that maybe middletown to Simsbury, but really, with the two projects on the books, this region would become so much more than it is at present.

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This is starting to get entertaining at least.

Hartford Courant

BRISTOL — - In another sign that the dispute over the Hartford-to-New Britain busway isn't splitting along partisan lines, a prominent Republican has endorsed a Hartford-to-Waterbury rail alternative instead.

Rep. William Hamzy of Plymouth, a former GOP state chairman, said Thursday that re-establishing passenger train service would be more cost-effective than spending about $569 million for a 9.6-mile, bus-only highway.

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Basically, NB Mayor Stewart and the DoT are the only people on Earth that think the busline is a good idea...

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Basically, NB Mayor Stewart and the DoT are the only people on Earth that think the busline is a good idea...

It just does not make one bit of sense to pursue the busway now that we have a mass transit/ rail oriented administration in Washington. We need to get everything we can get while we can get it. There is a good chance we can upgrade our rail infrastructure at this point in time all across the state and it would truly be a waste of money and opportunity to throw away a good rail line in favor of a busway.

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every time I read these articles it makes me feel a little ill!!

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-transit-money-0405.artapr04,0,6272184.story

I wonder what would happen if we got the 200+ million, than offered it back to the feds if they could put us higher on the list for rail funding and to fast track the waterbury hartford line?

I know crazy talk

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"Marie has also warned that if the busway plan is halted, Connecticut would have to repay nearly $50 million in federal money that has already been spent on engineering studies, designs and consultants' fees."

How on earth is it possible that the state has already spent $50 million on this?! On studies and designs??? You have got to be kidding....

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"There are 4,000 jobs and 15,000 riders a day waiting on this project," ... Really? You're telling me there are 4000 people that currently can't get to work because they don't have this busway? Or will this create 4000 new jobs? Are those jobs in building the busway, because if so, a commuter rail would employ more. The selfishness of the people involved trying to get the busway approved is staggering. Sure, let's spend a bunch of money and use land that could be put to much better use and better the area for everyone just so something better happens for me. ME, ME, ME!! I hate people.

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Your my boy Blue!!! (vlad)

I think it is meant as created by construction, but yes I agree.

and the fact that the director of facilities at aetna has repeatedly stated that his company ALONE would over burden the entire busway capacity during commuting hours.

he said he supports anything that helps, but he conciders this a poor return on investment and favors rail. I think he said something along the lines of "we need rail, busses, streetcars, and roads. a robust transit system"

I hate people too!

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Your my boy Blue!!! (vlad)

I think it is meant as created by construction, but yes I agree.

and the fact that the director of facilities at aetna has repeatedly stated that his company ALONE would over burden the entire busway capacity during commuting hours.

he said he supports anything that helps, but he conciders this a poor return on investment and favors rail. I think he said something along the lines of "we need rail, busses, streetcars, and roads. a robust transit system"

I hate people too!

Hopefully, this is one case where the buereaucratic clusterf*ck that is the DOT actually helps us. The longer this project floats in limbo, the more people have realized what a disaster this is. Let's hope that public opinion continues to build against this thing and that the legislature is ultimately forced to step in and kill it.

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I find it hard to believe people are still talking about the Busway actually happening, instead of rail to a larger region.

The busway is remarkably short sighted. It's too much money for serving too little people. People aren't going to abandon cars for buses the same way they would trains. And if you think in a world beyond peak oil, which we've already hit: how do you plan on running these buses? Gas? Will become too expensive in the future. Natural gas? That will likely be the way of oil and become harder to obtain and more expensive to use. We don't have any mass produced alternatives in planning.

The rail would be better. Hopefully the longer this Busway thing drags, we can finally get an official switch to what should be done.

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it gauls me to read some of the statements in these articles!!!

people have lined up on different sides, but when someone from the busway supporters claims its the best choice I get confused.

will it help traffic on 84? sure why not.

will it be better for the environment (than doing nothing) sure why not.

will it be better for economic development for NB? maybe, but certainly better than doing nothing.

but how on earth would it be better than the rail for traffic, for the environment, for moving people for economic development, for any damn reason.

the biggest winners will be paving companies, and station builders.

better for the town of NB is arguable at best, but for the region, the rail absolutely trounces the busway

makes me wonder the actualy motivation causing these comments

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New Britain has been as mismanaged as Hartford over the years. I've been working here the last couple of days, and I have to say, downtown New Britain is perfect. What I mean by perfect is this: it is a nice, compact downtown with little building loss (see Hartford), good support, parking, parks, and lively. Why this isn't a jewel boils down to one reason, and that reason is mismanagement. If any of these city leaders would just do some homework, they could easily make their cities work. DO some research, see what other cities are doing to be successful, whether your size, larger, or smaller. Do you need an art presence? Maybe create some art-space? Better transportation? Population near the city center? Need more? Safety? Walkability? Services? City Managers need to ask all these questions, set parameters, determine priorities, then stop at nothing and work tirelessly to achieve the goals. I mean, really, they aren't knitting nerves back together or landing a tin can on the moon...

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The thing that kills me about this whole debate is Larson and the rest saying that this is a done deal and if we switch to a better plan than the federal money goes away. I mean really, WTF???? So the Feds have no problem wasting money on a short-sighted project but if we try to go to a better more sustainable option we have to wait another 10 years to study it. This is huge component of just what is wrong with this country. All we do is focus on what we can't do instead of trying to make things happen because they make sense.

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Wow, Mike Nicastro of the Central CT Chamber totally demolishes busway supporters who are asserting negative motives behind opposition to the busway!! Hopefully this gets some people's attention and allows for a real debate to happen before we get stuck with the busway.

Bristol Press

With regard to the ability to define or resubmit the application for federal funding, disingenuous is stating that the answer from a federal Transportation Administration official was “fundamentally, no.” We have a copy of that letter since the information was originally requested by the chamber and the answer at best is anything but “very, very clear.”

What the letter very clearly states is “The decision of how best to provide transportation services within a specific geographic region, including the choice between a busway or a heavy rail project, is not made by the Federal Government. Instead it is the responsibility of local decision makers and the project sponsor. Thus, if local decision makers wish to redefine the project as heavy rail rather than as a busway, they may do so.” That’s hardly a resounding “no.”

In addition, as to the funding, the letter corrects a widely held assumption on the chamber’s and many other’s part as the letter states, “The Chamber’s letter incorrectly states that the New Starts funding for the Busway project has been ‘secured.’ The project must first be recommended in the president’s budget and receive a construction grant agreement from FTA before the funding can be considered ‘secured.’ Even once those actions occur, as you know, the discretionary New Starts funding must be congressionally appropriated before it is available to the project.”

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You know, I wish there was a law against lying. To portray this so incorrectly is wrong on so many levels.

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And I found this quote interesting: 'Disingenuous is stating that proponents of an alternative “should be asking for an evaluation of their railway plan as a first step in a process that complements the busway.' Really? So the rail will compliment the busway? That like the car complimenting the tires... "Wow, nice tires, real nice, that car ain't bad either". We should make a list of the scumbags that are trying to bamboozle the public into buying the busway rhetoric and get the names out for people to send nasty letters over and over...

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You know, I wish there was a law against lying. To portray this so incorrectly is wrong on so many levels.

I totally agree. How can they shovel this BS about there being no way to get the funding redirected to rail when they know that its simply not a true statement? Don't they realize that having the entire region on the same page will boost our shot at federal funding and not reduce it? WTF?

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They quite honestly do not care whatsoever. They are going to get theirs, screw everyone else, literally.

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Know what else I don't get? How do the busway supporters think it makes more sense to have a busway that will be operated with special buses that will be used exclusively by the busway than a rail line that will utilize the same engines and rail cars that we already have running on Metro North and Shoreline east and will eventually be running on the New Haven-Springfield line?

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So, I have to work in Waterbury today, so I had the luxury of driving from Hartford to Waterbury directly without traffic. What do you guys think about adding rail to the center median of I-84? There are large swaths that are just wide open, and a few that are not ( 84/72 interchange, the approach to the Waterbury line...), but I think they could engineer some rail lines in the median. Thoughts?

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