Stopping The 4.0

It looks like at least from a distance that the NH 2015/2016 state budget is nearing the finish line. And there is alot to dislike. Anyone that is even remotely connected to social services in this state is going to be impacted. Less money means less services, it isn't a complicated formula.

One part of this proposed state budget that I hope prevails is another cut. This one is the $4.0 million dollar appropriation for the NH Rail Transit Authority to do "engineering and planning" work in anticipation of the larger system startup.New Hampshire Should Focus On Freight Rail As Policy First.

Bad investment.

As a comparison it's interesting to see what the nearby states of Maine and Vermont are doing with respect to rail expenditures. I've noticed that they are doing it the right way: focusing on freight infrastructure first.

Anyone that has any real knowledge of rail knows that the profits are in the freight not in passengers. So these states are making the right policy and capital decisions. Focus on the freight first. Then let the passenger ideas follow. In Maine they are considering expansion of the Amtrak "Downeaster" from Brunswick to Augusta a component of this is expanding rail freight operations on the same line.

New Hampshire could do this but for whatever reason they don't. It isn't just the politics.

Hopefully the Senate will leave the $4.0 million out of the state budget.