New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:06 am

The problem though is that you need to apply that logic to all modes of transportation consistently - so long as highways, parking, etc. are heavily subsidized we need to also subsidize trains if we want to have any hope of people using them.

People would be a lot more willing to pay the true cost of rail service if they alternatively had to pay the true cost of I-93.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby leviramsey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:22 pm

I-93 probably pays for itself from gas taxes: it's the local/state roads that provide access to/from I-93 that are massively subsidized from general tax revenues.

(which is basically analogous to railroads: the mainlines pay for themselves, the branchlines, not so much)
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby BandA » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:58 pm

How much is the subsidy to roads? Lets say 5 to 10 cents per passenger mile. The subsidy on the MBTA is higher. As for the local roads, you have to take them to get to the train station, so subsidy is required in both cases. And local roads only get repaved every 30-40 years these days...
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby BandA » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:01 pm

I-93 in Boston is massively subsidized, I'll grant you that.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby leviramsey » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:54 pm

BandA wrote:How much is the subsidy to roads? Lets say 5 to 10 cents per passenger mile. The subsidy on the MBTA is higher. As for the local roads, you have to take them to get to the train station, so subsidy is required in both cases. And local roads only get repaved every 30-40 years these days...


Fares for roads run less than 2 cents per passenger-mile (roughly 50 cents/gallon in taxes at the national average, 20 mpg, and roughly 1.5 passengers in the average vehicle-mile gives 1.7 cents/passenger-mile). Tolls add a negligible amount to that (so few passenger-miles are tolled), but even with 2 cents/passenger-mile that's a farebox recovery of less than 30%.

To bring that farebox recovery in line with the commuter rail (which is near-as-dammit 50%), you're looking at something on a continuum between:

* increase gas taxes and tolls by 60-70%
* going to repavings every 50-70 years (in which case, part of the fare for using the roads is needing a new suspension a lot more often)

(I suppose there could be heretofore undiscovered efficiency improvements in the way that roads are maintained, but since both are essentially dependent on government for the funds needed to operate, no one really looks for those efficiencies)

In that scenario, it's fair to assume that you'd see some mode-shift to transit from driving. Since transit is especially notable for its high fixed costs relative to its marginal costs the extra passenger-miles have a lower per-passenger-mile subsidy than the current transit subsidy, reducing the per-passenger-mile subsidy of transit. Taking it further, it's quite likely that the marginal transit passenger-mile adds more in fares than it adds in expenses (e.g. for commuter rail, an extra passenger-mile on a train costs a fraction of a penny directly (plus somewhere between a nickel (someone with a cash-paid monthly pass) and a dollar (roughly someone who pays for a one-way trip with cash on board) per trip for fare collection and enforcement)).

Roughly between 75 and 125 years ago, the intellectual predecessors of today's progressive movement decided that they didn't want a free-ish market in transportation (the market for transportation then can't fully be called a free market, but it was a far freer market with, most importantly, a more functional price system than we have today) and proceeded to massively subsidize roads relative to the railroads and "traction interests": FDR did more to destroy public transit in the US than anyone else. There aren't many clearer examples out there of how intervention in the market (regulating rail and transit to within an inch or less of its life while subsidizing roads) begets intervention in the market (subsidizing rail and transit).
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby p42thedowneaster » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:32 pm

There are a couple of factors missing in your calculus. Vehicle registration costs, personal and commercial also contribute to highway funds. Additionally, there are vehicle excise taxes (Mass only). Another point...how do busses, van services, and UUber effect the balance of highway subsidies due to their possible efficiencies.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby flyingfox10 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:51 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
flyingfox10 wrote:They just expanded to Wauchussett and for what? 2 people per train.


Wow, what else can you tell us about post-November 21? What are the numbers for next week's winning lottery ticket??? Inquiring minds need to know!


Actually they were already running trains to Wauchussett when I wrote my message. And the two round trips out of there at THAT time had very poor patronage. With expanded operation up there now there are more people riding the train, but it will never pay for the station or lay over facility.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Dick H » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:08 pm

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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Arlington » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:56 pm

The North will rise again. Or maybe the Western Route will rise again. Sadly if I-93 gets widened (as Trump Admin names a priority) it will postpone the inevitable gridlock just a little bit longer. And MBTA may pull something off with Nashua. But one day, greater NH will realize it is out of options for road building.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:01 pm

"As we get autonomous cars and whatever else might be coming along," Kurk said, "this agency really is redundant, this is the 21st century, we don’t need to return to the 19th."


Has anyone remarked on what a magnificent quote this is?


Actually, the very concept of attempting to dissolve an unfunded all-volunteer group with a show vote is magnificent unintentional satire.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Dick H » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:43 am

This article in the Nashua Telegraph reports on the testimony given on the
bill by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, The Nashua Telegraph is among the most
stingy news sites around, as they do not allow a single "free" reading, You can
get the first paragraph here:
http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/108 ... ne-on.html
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby eustis22 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:58 am

would nashua generate enough passengers to make it worthwhile? Cause screw stopping in londonderry, derry, and windham. It should be expressed to Lowell.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:29 pm

Londonderry south was the Manchester and Lawrence Branch.

Correct me if I'm wrong this is the 2nd time someone has tried to disband the group.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:47 pm

Don't get your hopes up for Nashua, unless Mass. pays for it.

http://nhpr.org/post/lawmakers-consider ... y#stream/0
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