Many in Bristol are disappointed that House Speaker Chris Donovan of Meriden and environmental activists yesterday jumped aboard the proposed $573 million busway between Hartford and New Britain.
Donovan said the fight to block the busway is over.
Environmentalists bought the tale that a state study back in the 1990s found the busway to be the most cost-effective solution to congestion in the region.
But that's only partly true.
The study never even looked at Bristol or anywhere west of New Britain -- the very area served by the rail line.
It also laid out a fairly small price difference between rail and the busway. At the time, the busway was cheaper at $80 million or so. But the price tag has skyrocketed.
It's not clear that the price of rail has risen nearly as much. It could well be that a more environmentally friendly option -- rail -- would serve more riders in a wider region and cost less.
The truth is that nobody knows if that's so. It will take a comprehensive study to find out.
But if the busway goes ahead, the utility of rail immediately plummets. And Bristol will wind up with nothing, rail advocates insist.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org