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.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com