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IN PROGRESS: Hartford-New Britain Busway/ CTFastrak

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I am currently in Phoenix where the new light rail system is a spectacular success that has transformed downtown for the better.

People don't like buses. The Connecticut DOT is spending money on another bad project. That's what they do, they spend money. It's a shame.

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There was an article sunday in the courant about the busway acquiring property along the route and kicing tenants out.

Gotta love how bad this project is.

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc...0,2189498.story

Even though debate continues over whether the $569 million busway should even be built, the state has spent millions taking properties through eminent domain and demolishing buildings along the proposed route. It's even tossed out some well-established businesses.

Since 2007, the state Department of Transportation has purchased 17 commercial and residential properties at a cost of $14.3 million and still has another five to go. The most recent property owner to hear from the government, in New Britain, got a letter three weeks ago.

this PDF shows the locations of the land and what has been acquired and what has not.

http://www.courant.com/media/acrobat/2009-07/48289073.pdf

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Here is the latest on this from the Courant:

Busway

This stupid busway idea is dead on arrival. Can the state please be forward thinking for once and do this the right way as a commuter rail line?

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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The busway is just such a disapointing project. It's a shame that we can't make better use of this corridor and establish commuter rail that would connect the entire region west of Hartford to the city. The busway really is the epitome of small-minded, short-sighted Connecticut thinking.

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who the hell is going to ride that bus? i don't want to go to nb in my car, why would i ever opt to take a bus there ?

The busway is just such a disapointing project. It's a shame that we can't make better use of this corridor and establish commuter rail that would connect the entire region west of Hartford to the city. The busway really is the epitome of small-minded, short-sighted Connecticut thinking.

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who the hell is going to ride that bus? i don't want to go to nb in my car, why would i ever opt to take a bus there ?

reading that article this morning made me want to scream.

I was very disapointed that whats his face won the NB mayor job again.

Its so incredibly obvious that the busway is a limited proposition bound to hurt the regions long term future.

how can Nb be so damn shortsighted, and how can the state support it?

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Even business leaders want a rail. The public wants rail. The only people that want the busway are the DOT and the mayor of New Britain. Hopefully someone will take leadership and junk this terrible shortsighted proposal. Or else this will turn out to be as big as a failure as the HOV lanes.

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was very disapointed that whats his face won the NB mayor job again.

the guy must have a relative that owns a construction/paving company.

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Looks like this debate may actually be heating up. Seems like more and more state legislators are voicing their doubts about the viability of the busway.

New Britain Herald

The lawmakers attending the meeting — state Reps. Frank Nicastro of Bristol, Betty Boukus of Plainville and David McCluskey of West Hartford, all serving on the transportation committee as well as state Sen. Jonathan Harris of West Hartford — agreed that it is important to educate people about the advantages of rail, which would benefit the region, over a busway that would serve far fewer people at greater cost.

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Like it or not, federal funds are on their way for the busway.

NBC CT

The $569-million project, which has been on and off for years, involves building a bus-only, paved corridor along nearly 10 miles of unused rail lines through New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford. Eleven stations would be built along the route -- all in an effort to relieve traffic jams on I-84.

Interestingly, the debate has heated up and NB mayor Tim Stewart has seemed more conciliatory of late seemingly hinting that they want both rail and the busway for New Britain.

Bristol Press

Bristol officials, including Mayor Art Ward and state Rep. Frank Nicastro, D-79th District have lobbied for the renovation of the Pan Am Railways freight line that runs from Waterbury through Bristol and New Britain to Berlin where it would connect with the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line and having it take over the busway route for a more direct route to Hartford.

Stewart, however, has maintained that both methods of transportation should be pursued.

“The busway offers the best and cheapest transportation alternative for area residents,” he said. “But there is no reason that both could not exist and even use the New Britain station planned for Columbus Street. We should be working toward multiple types of public transportation, not just one.”

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Like it or not, federal funds are on their way for the busway.

NBC CT

The $569-million project, which has been on and off for years, involves building a bus-only, paved corridor along nearly 10 miles of unused rail lines through New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford. Eleven stations would be built along the route -- all in an effort to relieve traffic jams on I-84.

Interestingly, the debate has heated up and NB mayor Tim Stewart has seemed more conciliatory of late seemingly hinting that they want both rail and the busway for New Britain.

Bristol Press

Bristol officials, including Mayor Art Ward and state Rep. Frank Nicastro, D-79th District have lobbied for the renovation of the Pan Am Railways freight line that runs from Waterbury through Bristol and New Britain to Berlin where it would connect with the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line and having it take over the busway route for a more direct route to Hartford.

Stewart, however, has maintained that both methods of transportation should be pursued.

“The busway offers the best and cheapest transportation alternative for area residents,” he said. “But there is no reason that both could not exist and even use the New Britain station planned for Columbus Street. We should be working toward multiple types of public transportation, not just one.”

I spent the day riding an Amtrak train from Philadelphia to Hartford and now find myself reading about the busline. I really think that this $45Mil would be much better spent on railways throughout the state. We had to pull over and wait for oncoming trains three times on my trip in today, JUST IN CONNECTICUT. It was ridiculous. It was the first time taking Amtrak in my life and overall it was great service. But the delays on my way home were absurd.

Is this busline really going to have the effect on the congestion that people say it will? How many people will actually use this line? I live in New Britain and this wouldn't push me to use the bus rather than drive.

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I spent the day riding an Amtrak train from Philadelphia to Hartford and now find myself reading about the busline. I really think that this $45Mil would be much better spent on railways throughout the state. We had to pull over and wait for oncoming trains three times on my trip in today, JUST IN CONNECTICUT. It was ridiculous. It was the first time taking Amtrak in my life and overall it was great service. But the delays on my way home were absurd.

Is this busline really going to have the effect on the congestion that people say it will? How many people will actually use this line? I live in New Britain and this wouldn't push me to use the bus rather than drive.

I think the commuter rail would be much more worth while however if we can eventually get to a point where we have a maximum build commuter rail and bus way network I would be fine with that and think it would benefit the region tremendously. To me the bottom line is they have to figure out how to do commuter rail in the corridor regardless of whether or not the busway gets built. The commuter rail is essensial for connecting the communities west of Hartford but east of Waterbury to Hartford and NYC. There is potential for the busway to be a reasonable transit option at the local level. If I lived close to a station and worked close to another station I'd certainly be willing to give it a try. For what it's worth NB Mayor Tim Stewart is not openly advocating for both.

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It looks like Tim Stewart really wants to convince folks that both can be done. I'm not sold that the route the train would have to take if the busway gets built makes a whole lot of sense but if we are stuck with the busway I think that Tim Stewart and Tim O'Brien need to take the lead in determining such a route's feasibility.

New Britain Herald

NEW BRITAIN — Advocates of the proposed busway between New Britain and Hartford argue there’s no reason that the $573 million project they hope to build soon can’t co-exist with a commuter rail service.

“We could do both,” said New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart.

“We’re trying to shoot for them both,” said state Rep. Tim O’Brien, a New Britain Democrat.

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It looks like Tim Stewart really wants to convince folks that both can be done. I'm not sold that the route the train would have to take if the busway gets built makes a whole lot of sense but if we are stuck with the busway I think that Tim Stewart and Tim O'Brien need to take the lead in determining such a route's feasibility.

New Britain Herald

NEW BRITAIN — Advocates of the proposed busway between New Britain and Hartford argue there’s no reason that the $573 million project they hope to build soon can’t co-exist with a commuter rail service.

“We could do both,” said New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart.

“We’re trying to shoot for them both,” said state Rep. Tim O’Brien, a New Britain Democrat.

This idea is brain dead. Not surprising in this state. Get the commuter line going new haven to hartford. now. I hear there is a railroad shuttle service from hartford to springfield. wow. what the F about the rest of us? Give new britain and newington a stop on the raii commuter line (I believe the tracks go through both). and provide plainville, southington, west hartfdord, farmington, avon, simsbury, rocky hill, cromwell, glastonbury, etc. buses running every ten minutes 6 to 8:30am and 3 to 6pm. and make them non-stop. forget town to town to town. who wants to take 30 minutes on a bus to traverse 10 miles?. We already have roads. we don't need another one and if people will use the buses, the highways will be much less used so again, why build more. The mayor of new britain is only interested in making his town a hub.

Edited by blackstone

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6pm is garbage in my mind. no offense, because what you say is good stuff.

but right now the busses pretty much stop at 6. that might have worked in the 80s, when 9-5 meant something, but in 2010, the work day has shifted earlier and later in the increasingly global econemy.

how about 8pm.

this allows those who get off at 4:30(travelers) to have beers and dinner or whatever, and those who get off at 5:30-6PM (most other companies) to have a few beers or a meal if they want, and allows those who get off at 630-7PM (a large number of finace people) to actually concider taking mass transit. let alone have a beer or a bite to eat.

we need to start acting like hartford is hpen untill 8Pm because with transit options I just might be.

since I do not take a buss i am often downtown till 8PM, but my bus taking co-workers all had to scatter by 6pm

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I live in Berlin, and I'd LOVE to use transit to get to work, but the part of Hartford that I work would take me 50min to an hour to get there.... compared to a 12 minute car ride. Until they reign in the schedules and times, bus transit won't work in this State...

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I've always liked Ned Lamont.

BRISTOL — If elected governor, Democrat Ned Lamont said he would “hit the pause button” on the proposed busway from New Britain to Hartford.

While Lamont said he understands New Britain’s needs, and the desire for more transportation to Central Connecticut State University, he said he would want to make sure the money is well spent.

New Britain Herald

Lamont said that rail is “a big piece of where we want to go” and rail for moving freight is an important piece of the equation that helps support a passenger system.

Mike Nicastro, president of the chamber and a strong proponent of restoring rail in the region, said he was pleased to hear what Lamont had to say. He said supporting rail does not pit one town against another, as some busway proponents have said.

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Ned just got at least a potential partial vote from me.

If Oz Griebel makes any headway I might concider his as well.

the Czar of Hartford Business as govenor could only be a good thing for the region.

yes I am a democrat and i wrote that

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I hate Ned Lamont and I'm impressed with that comment. That being said, he needs to sell me on a bunch more to get my vote. His "what would Coach Geno" comment was ridiculous. Really? Coach Geno? Who calls him that? Dude is out of touch.

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I hate Ned Lamont and I'm impressed with that comment. That being said, he needs to sell me on a bunch more to get my vote. His "what would Coach Geno" comment was ridiculous. Really? Coach Geno? Who calls him that? Dude is out of touch.

as someone born in fairfield county, and after leaving 27 years ago has worked half of those years in fairfield county, let me assure you that most people from fairfield county know more about westchester county than about hartford county or any other county in connecticut. my point? dont be surprised or offended by their "out of touch" ways. their focus is definitely on themselves and to the west, more now than when i lived there, and they feel like the state's focus for funding projects is decidedly on hartford county. ned is not immune to the county's beliefs. and check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Lamont

Edited by blackstone

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I like the idea of business men running for office. But Lamont is a member of the lucky sperm club, rich from the day he was conceived. So if his businesses failed, their was no risk. Love to see a real entrepreneur run for governor.

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I like the idea of business men running for office. But Lamont is a member of the lucky sperm club, rich from the day he was conceived. So if his businesses failed, their was no risk. Love to see a real entrepreneur run for governor.

Well, there's always Linda McMahon for Senate. Her and her husband didn't found the company, but they did make it what it is. The only thing you have to worry about is how a woman who got rich off of dozens of her former employees dying before the age of 55 is going to be bothered to care about the common man.

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Larson is seeking funding to study the rail option from Waterbury to Hartford. Since it seems like the Busway will be under construction by the time the study is concluded I can only assume that they are going to be studying the slightly detoured route that would need to go down to Berlin after passing through New Britain to hook up with the North-South rail line.

New Britain Herald

Instead of cutting from downtown New Britain to Newington, the traditional route, the busway would require that trains slice southeast to Berlin in order to meet up with the New Haven to Springfield tracks. The change would add at least 15 to 20 minutes to each commute, rail backers said.

Larson said that he firmly believes in an intermodal transportation system that includes buses and trains. The busway, which has strong backing from the state Department of Transportation, is a crucial part of that system, the congressman said.

Larson said that after spending more than $50 million on the busway plans and working on it for over a decade, it’s too late to scrap the idea.

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I hate backwads logic. After doing the wrong thing for 10 years we are going to throw good money after bad because we have invested so much time doing it the wrong way!!!

thats like continuing to smoke crack because you have already been smoking for 10 years and spent your life savings, so you dont want to waste all that time and money to only get sober...

at least they are putting money into researching, and hopefully the study goes on and progresses while the busway opponents gain strength and eventually kill this thing!

if that happened maybe some studys and funding could be transfered to the rail plan.

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What I see are wheels spinning and delay tactics designed to put off rail long enough for work crews to get started on the busline, at which time it's too late...

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