Busway Gets Federal Funding, Construction To Begin In Spring
By Jeff Cohen
November 21, 2011
Federal transportation officials have officially committed $275 million for a busway from New Britain to Hartford. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, state officials say construction will begin this Spring.
The state says that when the busway opens in 2014, it will be a bus-only stretch of road with 11 stops and service every three to five minutes, carrying an estimated 16,000 passengers a day. The half-billion dollar project has drawn criticism from those who say it's too costly to those who say it's the wrong transportation plan to begin with. At a press conference, Governor Dannel Malloy defended the busway as he celebrated it.
"Most of the opponents of this project had opposition based not necessarily on the strength of this project and what it would mean, but rather that it might delay or prevent additional commitments being made to transportation in the state of Connecticut. I can assure you that this project stands on its own merits. Just as other mass transit projects will stand on their merits, as well."
Peter Rogoff is the administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. He says the busway will improve the quality of life for those who use it. He also says the federal government will continue to support other types of transportation projects in the state.
"We know that there is a strong interest in expanded rail around the state of Connecticut as well. I want to assure not just the governor, but all of the other stakeholders here, as Connecticut develops its vision for rail in the state, the Federal Transit Administration under President Obama will partner with you. We will continue to work with you, we will continue to flesh out those plans and hopefully continue to be a funding partner."
Malloy says the busway will create 4,000 short-term construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs.