June 17, 2008

Busway could help Bristol?


In a note to the city's legislative delegation this morning, Mayor Art Ward had this to say:

Good morning - just heard about the potential for the creation of a new "Bus Path" being considered by the state to enhance mass transportation. It is proposed to run from the New Britain/Newington area to Hartford.The state is conducting a public hearing on the subject tonight at Union Station in HartfordNow that Bristol will have greater accessibility, with the completion of Route 72, this might be a superb opportunity for the state to consider the inclusion of Bristol in this project. I would appreciate any/all information on this idea and ask that the Bristol legislative delegation research the potential for Bristol becoming a part of this project.

For more information, see the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency's Busway West site here and the Connecticut Busway site here.

The Federal Transit Administration's bus transit site here.

Finally, here's a story I wrote in March 2004:

The number of Bristol commuters who use buses may double when the proposed busway between New Britain and Hartford opens in 2007.
The increased reliance on buses “will have a big impact” in Bristol, said Don Padlo, a longtime public works commissioner.
“It has the potential of alleviating a lot of traffic,” Padlo said, as drivers decide they can do without “this hassle on the highways.”
Officials are already planning more bus routes to bring from Bristol to and from the busway station in downtown New Britain. They’re also eyeing more commuter lots, bicycle paths and other improvements to make it easier to take advantage of the new transportation option.
Joe Barbeau, transportation coordinator for the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, said a bus route that swings into Plymouth is also a possibility.
The 9.4-mile busway is a state Department of Transportation initiative to try to reduce the growing volume of cars and trucks clogging the interstate between Southington and Hartford. Plans call for it to run alongside the rail line from New Britain to Hartford, with as many as 12 stations along the way.
The new road would be accessible only to buses – though there’s some talk of a bicycle path as well – that could speed commuters through the congested corridor, making it an attractive option for at least some drivers who are tired of tackling the traffic.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Theodore Scheidel, Burlington’s first selectman and CCRPA board member. “It’s good for New Britain and Bristol.”
“It’s another sincere effort to get the cars off the highway,” he said.
Padlo said many people are tired of “the daily stress and traffic tie-ups” along Interstate 84.
Planners say that the number of commuters who take the bus from Bristol to reach jobs in Hartford may rise from 350 to more than 750 once the busway is operating.
“Obviously, it creates a great demand for parking,” Barbeau said.
The state is eliminating the Todd Street commuter parking lot because the $31 million Route 72 extension is going to plow right through it within a couple of years. A new lot is going to be built near Aldi grocery store.
But there’s not enough space for the expected number of commuters, Barbeau said.
He said planners are considering renting parking spaces from city churches to provide commuters with somewhere to park to take the buses from Bristol to the new busway.
Barbeau said there may be mini-transportation hubs created in downtown Bristol, at the commuter lot by Aldi and perhaps in Plainville. Bus routes could come together at the mini-hubs, he said.
He said officials need to consider whether there’s a need for benches, shelters, sidewalks or other amenities at the small hubs. The idea, Barbeau said, is to make sure people feel safe and secure at the sites.
“It’s really a broad focus that we have,” he said.
Planners are considering new bus routes in connection to the busway that might extend buses to Cyrpress Street, Stonecrest Drive, Jewel Street and other areas where they’ve identified a possible need.
Barbeau said there is “some interest” in having a bus line run to the Plymouth Industrial Park as well. But, he said, there are “no resources” for it now.
The state is looking into having four busways running in and out of Hartford, with the New Britain busway slated to come first. It is supposed to open early in 2007.
Other busways on the drawing table include one from Hartford to Manchester, one from the capital to Bradley Airport and one that runs south of the city.
For more information about the busway project, check out www.ctrapidtransit.com and www.ccrpa.org/transport.htm.

*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Public transporation usage has doubled in the last year. If it doubles again the State won't be able to handle it. We don't have the infrastructure to support such a hike.

Anonymous said...

It will bring in more criminals, drug trafficers and degenerates. Decent people don't take the bus.

Anonymous said...

We all need to start taking public transportation. We need to stop wasting gas and living like there's no end to our natural resources. So I suugest that we all live in what I call in Semi-Communal Living Organized by Educated Phonies or more commonly called a SCLOEPs. Our society will function much better this way and furthermore the self-indulgent way of our present materialistic society may deteriorate. Only the hypocritical but righteous leaders will be able to take their big family vehicles to the outer reaches of the region to break away from the hussle and bustle so they may have time to think and reflect as to better lead us in the future.

Anonymous said...

8:09 - Dude, what are you smokin?

Anonymous said...

? - 8:01 - pompous fool

Anonymous said...

It will bring in more criminals, drug trafficers and degenerates. Decent people don't take the bus.

That's a very ignorant statement because more and more "decent people" are using public transportation get back and forth to work due to the gas prices.

Anonymous said...

hey 8:09 cool, pass it this way

Anonymous said...

Why does the mayor think the busway is "new"? This has been in the works for years. Pay attention, Mayor!

Don't spend my money on this said...

This proposal is a complete farse and a waste of tax payer money. It's not surprising that Dumb-o-crat stooge Art Ward is buying right into this.

We already have a "bus path". It's called the Interstate. This is just a way for the Democrat Legislators to pay back their big campaign contributors (big contractors). This is way worse than anything John Rowland ever did. These people all should be thrown out of office or even thrown in jail.

Anonymous said...

Another "bridge to no where".

Democrat/bureaucrat PORK!

aka the A.Ward Burger

if you're gonna waste money waste it on me said...

At least Ward is being proactive, trying to get connected to this farce. I give him credit for that.

I think it's silly. The more expensive personal transportation gets, the less traffic there will be on the interstates. Buses will have a clearer path and building this "path" will be unecessary.

But if they're going to build it, it would be good if Mayor Ward can get us connected.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but it is another Press Release from "our mayor".

Anonymous said...

With gas prices skyrocketing out of control, more and more people will be looking for alternate forms of transportation. A busway is definitely a great idea.

~ Thanks Mayor Ward for paying attention!

Anonymous said...

"Just heard about the busway..." the mayor says.
OH MY GOD. So much for regionalism. This is not a new story.

Anonymous said...

As was previously said, we do have a busway. It is called a highway.

This would be even more ridiulous and expensive than the HOV fiasco.

But, Art did get a headline out of it, just like he did with the Rail Station.

Anonymous said...

and if he didn't say something, you would be asking why not - you sound like a rabid dog chasing his tail - or are you the tail?

Anonymous said...

Bristol to Hartford: about 1 hour, probably more.

Interested?