New press release from state Sen. Joe Markley, a Southington Republican, and state Rep. Whit Betts, a Bristol Republican:
Betts & Markley – Final push to block funding for the busway
Senator Markley said, "This thing costs nearly $1,000 an inch for a roadway on land that's already graded. That's an incomprehensible number. It's like paying $50,000 for a toaster."
Representative Whit Betts added, “"Using $600 million of taxpayer money to pay for a 'new' controversial busway when a bus system already exists between
New Britain and
is irresponsible and unacceptable. There are more urgent priorities - such as
repairing the roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Irene - that are of
greater importance to CT taxpayers. Common sense screams out that this $60
million a mile project should be put on hold." Hartford
Both visited with a senior member of U.S. Representative John Mica’s office on Tuesday in
The meeting with the Republican Chair of the Transportation Committee’s staff
was positive and renewed the fight to stop funding for this $569 million busway
boondoggle. Washington, D.C.
"We were able to raise some questions with Rep. Mica's staff about environmental issues with the busway, about how some expenses aren't being included in the numbers presented in
," Senator Markley said. Washington
Right now, Congress is reviewing the project, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is deciding whether to formally approve funding contracts for the project. The FTA deadline is November 7th.
The busway is a prime example of government waste and both legislators have called on the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) to fight against federal funding for the 9 mile project. Executive Vice President of the NTU has written a letter calling for congress to ‘pause in the funding process.’ A portion of the attached letter is below:
Thus, in our opinion a prudent action would be a pause in the funding process, pending timely and comprehensive additional review of the busway’s ramifications. While the project’s advocates would question the feasibility of such a pause or raise the prospect of harm from more delay, the potential risks to the taxpayers of
and the nation deserve further consideration. Connecticut
Pete Sepp/Executive Vice President National Taxpayers
Representative Betts and Senator Markley are calling on opponents to voice their opinion by calling Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s office at 202-366-4000.
On the state level a hearing officer from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment (DEEP) is deciding whether a wetlands permit will be granted to
transportation officials. The decision –
expected to take about two months – will then be referred to DEEP Commissioner
Dan Esty for final approval. Busway
construction can’t begin until the permit issue is decided. Connecticut