February 23, 2010

West Hartford state senator fights for rail

State Sen. Jonathan Harris, a West Hartford Democrat who is exploring a run for secretary of state, said Monday night that critics of the proposal to have commuter rail between Waterbury and Hartford are "just blowing smoke."
Harris, whose town is one of four that line the proposed $573 million busway from Hartford to New Britain, said it is possible to "reprogram" the money from the busway to a new rail service.
The only way to pull it off now, said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat, is to fight the busway plan "tooth and nail" in Hartford and Washington.
"You gotta say no," said Nicastro, who vowed to lead the charge for commuter rail instead.
Harris said the busway would use a crucial right of way between Newington and New Britain that a rail service would need.
Without that stretch of track, Harris said, "It's going to be double as hard if not impossible to do railroad. It's wrong."
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Positively Right said...

Thank you Jon Harris
Thank you Mayor Frank
Thank you everyone fighting this absurd bus-way.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Harris do work for Rennaisance?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Busway is that is does not look at the more global impact for conencticut. Sur eit benefits New Britain and The Mayor Tim Stewart of New Britain is going to fight for this because it effects his city. The railway is mass transit for many towns in Connecticut from the shore line to Hartford and beyond. The rail is cheaper and if you look around in the world today the railway is extremely effective for mass transit. Just look at New York, Boston, Washington DC and overseas in Europe. A Euro rail pass can take you all over Europe and its fairly inexpensive, safe and on time. Bristol has been shut out for by hartford politicians for more than 40 years on our Route 72 project. Only now we are just getting our highway that unfortunately dead ends in Bristol. We need to think beyond our borders and so does New Britain. We need to think globally and act locally. The railway is the best choice for all of Connecticut.

reality said...

but to make inter-modal transportation work, we need bus, train, taxi and vehicle elements to compliment each other - the busway is a start, rail is down the road - be real, if we have rail and no way to travel after getting to the end of the track, everyone will opt to drive their own vehicle to their ultimate destination.
It might not seem like the ideal plan but for the idea to work, we need to address each opportunity as it presents itself.