September 29, 2011

Busway foes heading to DC to make their case

A last-ditch effort to convince congressional Republicans to block the proposed busway between Hartford and New Britain is about to get underway.
State Rep. Whit Betts, a Bristol Republican, said Thursday that several busway critics plan to head to Washington next week to lobby congressional decision-makers to put the $573 million project on hold.
"We will be making a lot of noise," Betts said.
Joining Betts on the journey are state Sen. Joe Markley, a Southington Republican, and Mike Nicastro, the head of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, based in Bristol.
The state Department of Transportation is pushing the busway, with Gov. Dannel Malloy's support, to promote mass transit and alleviate congrestion on Interstate 84.
New Britain officials and developers argue that the busway will spur growth along its 9.4-mile path from Hartford's Union Station to downtown New Britain.
Betts said the arguments for the project are "obviously flawed" and the cost of the project is outrageous for any benefits it might bring.
Betts said Congress has until November 6 to raise objections to the project, which has the backing of federal regulators.
"We think once they've seen the facts, they will agree this project should not move forward," Betts said.

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