Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Rbts Stn » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:42 am

Teamdriver wrote:Well, first off , they should exterminate the RK Greenway and try to extract some value from it. And with the same chop of the axe, loose the SC rail fantasy. A reasonable gas tax hike is ok if they dont pirate away the money. Maybe even allocate all the newly found Amazon.com sales tax revenue to transportation. Get the casinos rolling, and extract some revenue there before it goes to the trough and gets gobbled up.


They could probably do well by leasing out the Common and the Public Gardens -- maybe for fracking?
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby jr145 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:33 am

I'd rather they raise the sales tax and lower the income tax. Everyone pays sales tax but not everyone pays income tax.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:35 pm

Using gas taxes only for highways and other roads sounds fair but it's bad public policy in the long run. 1. It makes it much easier politically to deal with congestion by building roads than by getting people to drive less. 2. It therefore sometimes leaves a place with more crowded roads and slower trip times for the people who drive than there would be if some of the gas tax paid for making public transportation attractive enough to reduce traffic on the existing roads. A big metro area should really look at using tolls to reduce congestion by encouraging people to take public transportation, drive off-peak, etc. The social cost of burning a gallon of gas in Berkshire County is less than burning it on Rte. 9 inside 128, for example, so some form of congestion pricing might be worth at least examining.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby ST214 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:23 pm

I agree 100%. This is being done completely backwards of how it should be done.

jr145 wrote:I'd rather they raise the sales tax and lower the income tax. Everyone pays sales tax but not everyone pays income tax.
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Teamdriver » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:20 pm

Rbts Stn wrote:
Teamdriver wrote:Well, first off , they should exterminate the RK Greenway and try to extract some value from it. And with the same chop of the axe, loose the SC rail fantasy. A reasonable gas tax hike is ok if they dont pirate away the money. Maybe even allocate all the newly found Amazon.com sales tax revenue to transportation. Get the casinos rolling, and extract some revenue there before it goes to the trough and gets gobbled up.


They could probably do well by leasing out the Common and the Public Gardens -- maybe for fracking?

If they manage those places with the arrogance that they show by betraying the public's trust with respect to the Greenway, ruining a well intended project with their greed, pave over the suckers and get some parking revenue. All these state financial woes are caused irresponsible and arrogant waste of hard earned taxpayers money.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby MarkB » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:32 am

I just heard on the radio today that as soon as they get new money for the T, they want to extend hours of service. This is an organization with massive debt, and the first thing they want to do with new income is spend it as fast as possible. Now that I knew the plan, I don't want them to get a cent more. Thanks for warning me.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby atlantis » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:19 am

Agreed, the MBTA is in massive debt, but much of that debt is from the T revenues being used to pay down the Big Dig.

As I've always said, the MBTA isn't perfect, and it should be held accountable for its decisions. That being said, I think there's general agreement that the state's transportation system needs major improvement.
I realize the South Coast commuter rail is highly controversial, and perhaps it should be done in an incremental approach, but it should not be demonized wholesale. (I've often wondered how many opponents to the project who post on these threads are from Fall River and New Bedford.)
The tax increases are too heavy, IMHO, but maybe another method could be used for funding. As others have said, the "more of the same" approach will only cost us more in the long run, and still keep the status quo.
While governor Patrick is not perfect, and no saint, IMHO, his idea is to increase transit overall, not just for Boston, but elsewhere in the state, as is should have been all along.
If Boston to Cape Cod rail service occurs in 2012 I will eat a jelly doughnut dipped in tomato sauce.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby newpylong » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:22 am

I am all for fixing our crumbling transportation but this guy is out of his mind.

I will be the first to get out there and protest South Coast rail... it's none of my concern that communities 70 miles from Boston want Commuter Rail. We shouldn't be doing projects like this in the face of these tax increases.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby atlantis » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:54 am

I love how the naysayers always will automatically assume that "only five people" will ride a rail project from two of the larger cities on the South Coast.
Let's not forget that there will be intermediate stops that will benefit those who live along that route. That being said, I do agree with you, newpylong, that the project's cost is over the top and needs to be reduced. But I'd rather pay for a project that will benefit the public-at-large than have my taxes go into subsidizing oil companies, professional sports stadiums, wars of choice,etc.
BTW, Out of the numerous people I've spoken with who are from FR/NB, nearly all of those I've talked with, (over 100) ninety percent want the train.
There was a proposal by Cape Cod Central RR some years back to run passenger rail service from Fall River/ New Bedford to Boston at a fraction of the cost of the MBTA. (CCRR would run the service until such a time the state was ready to assume operations)
Perhaps we should all be advocating for this. A public-private partership that could get the job done at little cost. It certainly would be less than the Big Dig and other massive projects. It could even inject revenue into the MBTA, much as the planned "CAPE FLYER" train is projected to do as it will be a partnership with the Cape Cod regional transit authority, the MBTA, and Cape rail. (The MBTA will be providing the trains, and funding will be from the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.) It certainly would remove the perception that it would be a "boondoggle" or "white elephant."

I also agree that there should be better transit connections between Fall River and Providence, as someone posted earlier, whether bus, rail or both. (Any rail route from Fall River would need to be rebuilt for rail service to happen.) It can be argued that Fall River and Providence are a sort of "conurbation" and that if Fall River was part of Rhode Island, or Providence part of MA, there would be frequent transit service between the two. I'm going off on a tangent but maybe changing laws that restrict regional RTA's from crossing state lines so that RIPTA and South Coast Transit could cross the state lines and run a joint service, that could increase revenue for each respective RTA. (just a thought.)
If Boston to Cape Cod rail service occurs in 2012 I will eat a jelly doughnut dipped in tomato sauce.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby artman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:16 pm

rethcir wrote:I don't think that you are going to find a lot of overlap between libertarian practices and public transit advocacy.

Fact of the matter is, Patrick is probably the biggest advocate for responsible transit development in office since the Duke.


Amen
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby newpylong » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:45 pm

Atlantis I agree 100%... I am all for it if there is a market. I just don't think right now is the time when we're faced with such turmoil both in the state with taxes and the MBTA in general.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby jr145 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:55 pm

newpylong wrote:I am all for fixing our crumbling transportation but this guy is out of his mind.

I will be the first to get out there and protest South Coast rail... it's none of my concern that communities 70 miles from Boston want Commuter Rail. We shouldn't be doing projects like this in the face of these tax increases.




Agreed. If you want to work in downtown Boston, don't move 70 miles away.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:06 pm

jr145 wrote:
newpylong wrote:I am all for fixing our crumbling transportation but this guy is out of his mind.

I will be the first to get out there and protest South Coast rail... it's none of my concern that communities 70 miles from Boston want Commuter Rail. We shouldn't be doing projects like this in the face of these tax increases.




Agreed. If you want to work in downtown Boston, don't move 70 miles away.


And why not? People in the NYC area have been living this far away from their jobs and commuting to the Big Apple for decades.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby novitiate » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:14 pm

An extension of the Stoughton Line to Taunton, with stock Old Colony-style stations and the provisions for future branches to FR/NB, would seem like the most financially prudent option (beyond the "no-build", anyway) at the time... though I imagine they aren't doing it because that's a big chunk of the line's potential ridership, so if it's not all built at once it'll be that much harder to ever get all the way to the South Coast down the road...

Still, if I were in charge of the state's transportation plans, the only extension I would consider fast-tracking before getting the T's finances in order would be the GLX, due to the sheer number of people expected to ride it... The rest can wait.
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Re: Governor's pitch to solve transportation funding woes

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:36 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
jr145 wrote:
newpylong wrote:I am all for fixing our crumbling transportation but this guy is out of his mind.

I will be the first to get out there and protest South Coast rail... it's none of my concern that communities 70 miles from Boston want Commuter Rail. We shouldn't be doing projects like this in the face of these tax increases.




Agreed. If you want to work in downtown Boston, don't move 70 miles away.


And why not? People in the NYC area have been living this far away from their jobs and commuting to the Big Apple for decades.


Well if NYC does it, then we need to start subsidizing people's choice to do so, too! You should be able to commute 70 miles to Boise, Idaho by train, too.
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