I've been blogging this subject for years because at every opportunity Democrats (and a handful of Republicans) resurrect the notion that running a commuter rail line into and or up through the Nashua-Concord corridor would be good for something.
That's like saying "hey doc just leave the endoscope in my colon, that way the next time I need it it will already be there."
It is damn near the biggest waste of time and money we could imagine, destined to become nothing more than a fiscal albatross that bleeds us dry, and yet like some three-year old who relentlessly carpet bombs you in the ten-items-or-less aisle with ear piercing screams until you relent and buy them that chocolate bar, the mass-transit zombies you thought you'd put down keep getting back up so they can eat your brains.
Commuter rail is as useless in New Hampshire as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest and whose only possible value (and I use that word very loosely) is as the ideological lefts equivalent of a gold-digging trophy wife you can never divorce--that's more expensive, and paid for by you whether you use it, need it, ever see it, or not.
So hey, how about another study on commuter rail? If we keep getting studies done eventually we'll have one that says exactly what we need it to say in a way that will allow us to get our future, gold-digging, commuter rail trophy wife to the alter.
Sooner or later. I'm still on the side of later and I've laid down plenty of text in support of that. So rather than re-write it again I'll just give you some links and pull quotes and let you take it from here.
Here are some links with pull quotes to previous 'rants' on New Hampshire commuter rail
December 2009 'Rail'
Passenger rail costs are not limited to the root infrastructure itself. That would be rails versus roads. Taxpayers would have to subsidize passenger rail-cars, fuel the cars, maintain the cars, probably pay the workers and their benefits, and support the entire system when it fails to turn a profit, which will be always and probably forever. While roads have some other infrastructure nothing compares to rail.
In contrast people buy their own cars, and pay for their own fuel and maintenance. They may buy the car to get to a job that’s probably not funded by taxpayers either. (Except in Concord) Taxpayers do not need to subsidize any of that where with rail we’re supporting all of it. So there is no possible apples to apples comparison to road and rail taxes.
February 2010 'The Real Third-Rail for Commuter Rail'
... Such is the case for commuter rail in New Hampshire, a liberal fantasy that is a solution looking for a problem. And apparently it’s found one but not the one it was hoping for. A recent report has revealed some of the thinking behind the cost and revenue options available in forcing commuter rail down the throats of New Hampshire residents; and it’s filled with words and phrases and clauses that might just derail conjunction junction before it ever leaves the station.
... (how to pay for it...?)
[A] business improvement assessment" of $1.02 per $1,000, on top of existing local and statewide property taxes, could be levied on all properties in a mile-wide corridor along the track, a half-mile on each side.
They could also choose “…to add a 16 cents per $1,000 property tax surcharge on all properties in 27 communities in the Nashua-Manchester areas.”
Then there’s “a vehicle registration fee [which] "has actually been a pretty common approach across the country. You basically tax what you want people to avoid, if you will," Williams said He said that with 528,273 vehicles in the 27 communities in the region, a $15.82 charge would be needed to raise $8.3 million.
May 2010 ' De-Railed?'
According to the state Department of Transportation, I-93 costs roughly $10,000 per lane per mile to maintain. At four lanes, I-93 between Concord and the border would cost about $1.6 million a year. After the Manchester to Massachusetts widening, it would be about $2.6 million a year — roughly half of Burling’s lowest estimate for operating the train. Double the I-93 maintenance figure, just to be safe, and we’re still at the low estimate for the state’s portion of operating a train.
February 2011 'Democrats, Trains, & HB 218'
(Includes a round up of previous content related to the newest effort to get Railed.)
Democrats are aghast that the NH House would dissolve the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority–the head of a beast seeking to force commuter rail upon us–because hey it doesn't cost anything.
But it does cost and it could lead to something that costs us even more in the future. A lot more.
April 2011 'Psst. Hey Buddy. Want to Buy A Train?'
The morning Union leader chides New Hampshire Governor John Lynch for saying this to the Nashua Telegraph.
“I think rail would be an economic driver for this region. Ultimately, we would realize more money than we could even contemplate at this point.”
...What he meant was that if we added commuter rail "there would be more spending than we could even contemplate at this point."
There's more but I think that should cover it. All the same arguments against it still apply, the most important of which is that it will never pay for itself, which means that all of us will end up paying for something most of us do not want, do not need, and will never use. And that more or less describes Democrat governance up and down the line.
You are reading "The Ideological Left’s Equivalent of a Gold-Digging Trophy-Wife" by Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)
Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012