Todd Brown


Fiscal Responsibility


The Busway

This is a boondoggle plain and simple. Other than the people working in the state government and the editorial staff at the Hartford Courant, I have never heard of any other supporter of the busway. The chairman of the house transportation committee could have killed this project, but the chairman is my opponent Antonio "Tony" Guerrera and he embraced this project.

This is a $600 million dollar project linking New Britain and Hartford's Union Station. Even though it is being built on an abandoned railroad corridor and has one terminus at a train station, the decision was made to rip up rail tracks and rail bridges and build a roadway to be used by buses only.

The estimate used to justify the busway was that 16,000 people a day would use public transportation rather than drive their own cars on the parallel interstate 84. Unfortunately only time will tell how far off this estimate was.

One way to look at the $600 million dollar cost of this project is 9.4 miles long project is by doing a little math: a $600,000,000 project divided by 9.4 miles in the project divided by 5280 feet in a mile divided by 12 inches in a foot gives $1,007.41 dollars per inch. This is outrageously expensive for building a road.

One way the democratic controlled state legislature tried to justify the bloated cost was by saying the Connecticut state taxpayers would only have to pay $150 million. The federal tax payers would pay the remaining $450 million. The busway backers hoped that Connecticut taxpayers would forget that they are also federal taxpayers. Speaking for myself I don't want my tax dollars wasted on either the federal or state level.

The $600 million dollar price tag does not include the annual costs to plow and maintain the road surface, plow, maintain and provide security the parking lots or the cost of running the bus fleet. Consider this the gift that keeps costing.

At a time when Connecticut "balanced" its state budget by withholding $100 million from the state pension plan, we went ahead and borrowed for a major new project. Remember the simple rules of Spend No More Than You Earn and Borrow No More Than You Can Pay Back. The democrats in the state legislature seem to have forgotten that.

My personal feeling is the ridership will not cover the cost of the busway. Within ten years I see the busway being turned into a paid parkway where people will be given the opportunity to pay to avoid traffic on interstate 84.

Remember that if you are against this project then your state representative did not share your views. Why would you send him back to Hartford if he doesn't represent you? I promise that if elected I will spend tax dollars like they are my money, and yes some of those tax dollars are mine and I would never have spent them on the busway.