Throwing Numbers And Untruths?


Shira Schoenberg does a quality job in her reporting of the legislation to dissolve the NH Rail Authority which appears in today’s edition of the Concord Monitor newspaper, Rail Transit Authority Faces Derailment.

The doublespeak alone is enough of a reason why this legislation should pass.

I’ve blogged enough about why the NH Rail Transit Authority is not only flawed as an organization, but this article compounds yet another issue, the most important issue, the money. The Schoenberg article quotes former Senator Burling as saying that the authority receives no state funding but yet in 2010 it received $4.1 in federal money for “a comprehensive study of a potential passenger rail line from Nashua to Concord.”

Where does this $4.1.million come from? And who authorized it?  

I’d hope with $4.1 million dollars on the line there would be a straightforward answer to these questions but somehow on the basis of my experience working with Train Riders Northeast up in Portland, Maine there isn’t. I’d also take this time to note that Train Riders advocated and got passed by Maine public referendum the entire Boston-Portland Amtrak proposal without any state agencies or using $4.1 million dollars for a comprehensive study. I sense the NH Transit Authority is surrounded by untruths and possibly the use of Enron style accounting methods.  

Then Sen. Burling makes the statement that sends it over the edge “(The Bill) sends a strong message to New England and the federal government that New Hampshire isn’t interested.” Burling said.

And how exactly does it do this?

I don’t think New Hampshire is interested. I have as yet to find any evidence that Sen. Burling and his appointed NH Rail Transit Authority have any interest in working with anyone but themselves these include advocacy groups like Train Riders Northeast to the owner of the rail line itself, Pan Am Railways. I hope that the Legislature acts swiftly to put a stop to the NH Rail Transit Authority by passing this legislation after the hearing this week.