Chris Powell: Empty buses, broken train line

Last week brought another disastrous service interruption on the Metro-North commuter railroad in southwestern Connecticut as a 118-year-old swing bridge over a river in Norwalk malfunctioned and took hours to repair. The state Transportation Department said a replacement for the bridge is being designed and might be completed in ... 10 years. Meanwhile, the state Transportation Department hopes to have  the crown jewel public-works project of Governor Malloy's administration, the bus highway from Hartford to New Britain, operating in 10 months-- remarkable progress, except, of course, that there is no need for the busway, whose buses probably will run mostly empty for many years between hubs that have become mainly centers of welfare dependence and government bureaucracy.

By contrast, Metro-North is the busiest commuter rail system in the country and in southwestern Connecticut it serves people who not only work for a living in the private sector but provide the bulk of the state's income-tax revenue. The suckers are not likely to get any respect from state government until they go on welfare or join a public-employees union.

Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn.