Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, infrastructure - busway, planning - safety/accidents, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - bus rapid transit


Width, Tracks, Security measures, Security, Safety measures, Safety, Railroad tracks, Public safety, Platform layout, New Britain (Connecticut), Human comfort, Hartford (Connecticut), Design, Convenience, Comfort, Busways, Bus rapid transit, Abandonment


The New Britain to Hartford Busway is a two-lane, exclusive, bus-rapid-transit facility to be constructed along abandoned and active rail lines connecting the cities of New Britain and Hartford. The preliminary design and Environmental Impact Statement are currently being completed for this 15.1-km (9.4-mi), 12-station facility. As part of the preliminary design, a process of evaluating varying platform layout configurations was undertaken. To design the busway stations, many elements had to be taken into consideration. First, the busway is to provide multiple types of service, including express bus service, therefore requiring bus pull-offs. Second, the right-of-way along the busway corridor is narrow and the effect of this needs to be minimized; therefore, alternative platform layouts need to have a minimum width when possible. In addition, the busway operation and patron use had to be safe, secure, comfortable, and convenient while providing connectivity to the adjoining land use. Three platform configurations were investigated, including center platforms, traditional opposite platforms, and offset platforms. Although the offset platforms provided the narrowest design, their use was rare because they were perceived by many to be less safe for the rider than the opposite platform design. For most of the stations, a modified opposite platform design was chosen by the reviewing agencies and members of the public. The center platforms were eliminated because it was decided that the existing right-side-door fleet of buses would be used in conjunction with any new buses.