I hope I’m wrong. I hope the grandiose number of people—16,000 a day; no really, 16,000 a day—projected to ride the New Britain-to-Hartford busway actually get out of their cars and ride the bus to work or play. But I truly fear this project will become a national embarrassment for Connecticut and could even hurt Gov. Malloy’s obvious longing for higher office.
The good part? Well, it will create 4,000 short-term construction jobs leading to the criticism that the project is one big suck-up to labor (who, by the way, got Malloy elected). The question is, will people use this thing? From this view, it simply won’t happen. And then there’s issue of this busway forever taking up a path that could be used for rail.
A good way to gauge whether a project is worth doing is to see who sits on which side of the issue. One of the more thoughtful public servants in the entire state is former state Sen. Don DeFronzo (D-New Britain) who is now Malloy’s commissioner of the department of administrative services (DAS). He opposed this project from the start but he can’t blamed if he goes silent now given the fact that the biggest proponent is his boss.
This thing costs $567 million and runs less than10 miles. The numbers are staggering. In 10 years, are people going to ridicule Connecticut for the “busway to nowhere?” There is just no way I can be convinced that a significant number of people will get out of their cars and get on a bus in New Britain (or anywhere else on the line) to travel to Hartford.