Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail (South Coast Rail)

ulrichomega

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

+1. He’s right up there with Rifleman in terms of anti-intellectual shitposting.
Is the solution to poo-slinging itself more poo-slinging? Can we stop perpetuating such comments and get back to analysis of the project at hand?

Rover said:
A good point regarding the sentence I bolded. I did some further calcs and came up with this:

4,400 daily rides x 5 days a work week x 52 weeks a year = 1.15M trips a year. Times a 20 year lifespan lets say = approx. 23M trips. 935M / 23M trips over 20 years = approx. $40 per trip subsidy. BUT, that doesn't include the cost of the ticket itself. Say that's 20 bucks on average as people will be boarding in different zones. That's $20 bucks for a trip over the 20 year span. Not bad at all and kills the "it would be cheaper to buy everyone bus tickets or an Uber" argument.
This math doesn't hold up. Ignoring
  1. People take vacations, so 52 weeks isn't accurate
  2. 20 year lifespan is arbitrarily chosen. I would expect to get a lot more life out of the construction here, since it's mostly track that's survived for a while and concrete platforms
  3. You need to include the cost to run the service as well if we're considering such an amortized approach, which dramatically inflates these costs above that of Uber.

The point here isn't to throw out a huge number and say "It's going to cost $X million per rider, therefore it's not worth it!" The point is to provide a comparison to similar projects to see if the cost provides commensurate benefits. I disagree with everyone in this thread that says we absolutely cannot build this because it will be the end of the world, but we're still spending a lot of money on something that isn't worth the cost. The solution then isn't to not build, the solution is to build better.
 

DominusNovus

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

There are plenty of things that indict the educational system, but I think this specifically is more an indictment of "get-rich-quick" capitalism...
If the most highly educated people can be so taken advantage of in such a fashion, I'd say its an indictment of the educational system. Or, they're not being taken advantage of.
 

Coyote137

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Simply doing "analysis of the project at hand" presumes that everyone involved in a discussion is doing so in good faith. To wit, MassDOT (i.e., Charlie Baker) must be engaging in the conversation in good faith, which I don't think is true.
 

Rover

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

This math doesn't hold up. Ignoring
  1. People take vacations, so 52 weeks isn't accurate
  2. 20 year lifespan is arbitrarily chosen. I would expect to get a lot more life out of the construction here, since it's mostly track that's survived for a while and concrete platforms
  3. You need to include the cost to run the service as well if we're considering such an amortized approach, which dramatically inflates these costs above that of Uber.

The point here isn't to throw out a huge number and say "It's going to cost $X million per rider, therefore it's not worth it!" The point is to provide a comparison to similar projects to see if the cost provides commensurate benefits. I disagree with everyone in this thread that says we absolutely cannot build this because it will be the end of the world, but we're still spending a lot of money on something that isn't worth the cost. The solution then isn't to not build, the solution is to build better.
Yes the 20 years is arbitrary, so change the calculations. 4400 trips x 5 days per week x 50 weeks per year = 1.1M trips x 30 years lets say. 935M/33M = $28 bucks per trip over the usable life of the project. Assuming on avg 20 dollars per ticket for each trip and its now an 8 dollar subsidy per ride.

Yes there is a cost to run service which might be tough to estimate, BUT there is also most likely an increase in property values and property tax revenue as a result which might also be tough to estimate.

Finally as the Commonwealth Mag article even concedes, you can't really equate a inner city subway extension ridership with commuter rail. I'd be curious how the project stacks up with maybe Greenbush although even that wouldn't be an apples to apples comparison. Regarding building it better my take is its better to get the rail service started instead of waiting another 20 years for the various lawsuits to play themselves out for building through a wetlands area. The will to do this is here and now after 30 years on the drawing board, so lets get it done.
 

ant8904

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

+1. He’s right up there with Rifleman in terms of anti-intellectual shitposting.
What I saw of what Rover said is pointing out a bunch of posts before have was speculating things real estate owners are what driving this project and etc which we have seen zero evidence. And Rover getting a little hostile by saying "maybe you're not as smart as you think you are". That is a little hostile but that's far less hostile responding the post is "anti-intellectual shitposting".

And Rifleman keeps devolving his posts into making it about Liberals and Conservatives and stuff. I fail to see how Rover saying "maybe you're not as smart as you think you are" and pointing that the previous posts really did speculate without evidence of things like real estate speculation is in the same category.


If you to see what is shitposting, go look up Armpitsofmight's posts on this site (interestingly, he perfected how to shitpost before that term was even coined). Go to reddit.com/r/memes more examples of shitposting. Rover's post is not shitposting.


Simply doing "analysis of the project at hand" presumes that everyone involved in a discussion is doing so in good faith. To wit, MassDOT (i.e., Charlie Baker) must be engaging in the conversation in good faith, which I don't think is true.
Mentioning Charlie Baker in this context is the least fitting of all the things we can indict him on at this point. It has been a desired project by even administration since Weld. But even Deval Patrick wanted this project - according to this ItemLive article, he wanted it even in the face of BLX advocates. Which again, perplexes me how this project of all projects cross state party lines.

Capital cost per daily new transit rider has been THE standard for comparing transit projects since sometime in the Nixon Administration (creation of the Federal Transit Administration). It was not invented in this thread to make SCR look bad. SCR is a bad project based on the traditional standard for rating projects as good or bad.
That's is a really good point. None of us might be true experts. There's more to consider than just Capital cost per daily new transit ride. But Capital cost per daily new transit ride is a real metric uses to discern the value of a project. And we all know using this metric says this is a bad project. Which explains why I see so much dissension on this project, but explain so little of why the State wants this so much.

I know I already got responses that the State wants this so much because the Fall River/New Bedford are the only two major cities lacking any transit. But given lack (or at least visible) support on the grassroots level, I don't see the political gains. Given the metrics (and the metrics we're using are also the same metrics experts/professionals are using) are so bad, I don't see transit planning logic either. Yet, this is the project that state would actually fight when ecnountering trouble (like when the estimate went up $2bn to $3bn - meanwhile GLX had to be saved by advocates)

----

One more thing that came to my mind on this project. I have been mentioned GLX, BLX, Red-Blue Connector, and a few others. Which are debatable as a comparison. But there's another Commuter Rail project Commuter Rail into NH. Which shows to me that the collective distaste for SCR is not a Inner Rail vs Outer Rail thing. Chatter for Commuter Rail to NH is positive here, I can find advocacy groups that are pushing for it, I can find grassroots groups on Facebook (though I also found a grassroot anti-group too), and there's even a recent survey showing 70% of NH supports it. The metrics gives a much more positive number too. Basically, just like the other projects - it has vocal support, positive discussion here, advocacy groups, and supportive metrics. And of course, both NH and MA are giving responses of reluctance. So it's not about commuter rail (though to be fair, dealing cross-state coordination is a factor that makes it not quite apples-to-apples)
 

Lrfox

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

There's more to consider than just Capital cost per daily new transit ride. But Capital cost per daily new transit ride is a real metric uses to discern the value of a project. And we all know using this metric says this is a bad project. Which explains why I see so much dissension on this project, but explain so little of why the State wants this so much.

I know I already got responses that the State wants this so much because the Fall River/New Bedford are the only two major cities lacking any transit. But given lack (or at least visible) support on the grassroots level, I don't see the political gains. Given the metrics (and the metrics we're using are also the same metrics experts/professionals are using) are so bad, I don't see transit planning logic either. Yet, this is the project that state would actually fight when ecnountering trouble (like when the estimate went up $2bn to $3bn - meanwhile GLX had to be saved by advocates)
The problem with relying on capital cost per daily new transit rider is that to do so, you have to assume the ridership projections are accurate. Often times they're not, and usually by large margins. The Secretary admits as much. Now, the MBTA/MassDOT have to rely on those models because, well, that's the data they have. But we don't have to, and I'm not going to put a ton of stock into capital costs that are calculated using estimates that are created by a flawed model. On this front, we'll see.

That's not to say the project isn't severely flawed. It certainly is. F-Line breaks down the technical faults with SCR repeatedly and he's dead-on accurate as usual.

I'm also not convinced that politics don't play a significant role in all of this. I also disagree that "every governor going back to Weld wanted South Coast Rail." Every administration since Weld has paid lip service to South Coast Rail. It's been a prerequisite for winning over voters from that region for decades. But few administrations have actually done much more than the obligatory "study." Patrick held SCR "groundbreakings" on a handful of freight rail improvement projects, but even he was mostly talk. So there was a lot of pressure on Baker to not be just more of the same. Especially as an R governor in a D state with a rapidly worsening traffic situation and few employment opportunities outside of metro Boston. As a fiscal conservative, he couldn't move the $3 Billion proposal through, but the $1B "Phase 1" alternative made sense politically.

I'm a little perplexed by the whole "no grassroots support" comments. Where are you looking? I mostly grew up on the south coast and commuted to Boston from the region as an adult for years. There's not a week that goes by (for as long as I can remember) where it hasn't been mentioned at political events, covered by the paper, pushed by local C of Cs or organizations like SRPEDD, etc. Maybe the push is far enough outside of the Boston bubble that it doesn't get coverage, but it's there just as much as any other project. I would argue that because of these efforts (and the influence they have on local politicians), the project isn't dead some 30 years later.

It also seems like people forget about Taunton in all of these discussions. Maybe "South Coast Rail" was just branded terribly, but Taunton is the city that gains the most out of this project. At least initially. It's equally as under-served as the South Coast, it's far closer to Boston than FR/NB, and it'll have double the frequencies that FR/NB do.

In a perfect world, "Phase 1" would have been an electrified extension of the Stoughton Branch down to Taunton. Shuttle buses, coordinated with commuter rail arrivals/departures, could have been run from the Taunton station to Fall River/New Bedford for a few years while the state gained real data which they could use to determine whether or not to complete the "Phase 2" electrified extensions to FR/NB.
 

ant8904

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

I'm a little perplexed by the whole "no grassroots support" comments.
My assessment is based personal readings on news articles, searching on Facebook, and searching on Google for groups. I do admit that it is not very scientific. That is also part of why I openly brought it up here. Not to persuade but to see if the claim gets challenge.

So far, I have to say that perhaps it is bold to say there's no grassroot support, but I think it is safe to say it has the by far least support on the internet and least visibility when checking for news articles covering this. I also think I can safely say no other transit project on this website attract this type of response as seen since I revived this topic. You won't find this for GLX nor even for Commuter Rail to NH nor any other project (if I was to guess the next closest, it is probably when they announced Track 61 - which they quietly killed after they realized how dumb it was).
 

Lrfox

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

My assessment is based personal readings on news articles, searching on Facebook, and searching on Google for groups. I do admit that it is not very scientific. That is also part of why I openly brought it up here. Not to persuade but to see if the claim gets challenge.

So far, I have to say that perhaps it is bold to say there's no grassroot support, but I think it is safe to say it has the by far least support on the internet and least visibility when checking for news articles covering this. I also think I can safely say no other transit project on this website attract this type of response as seen since I revived this topic. You won't find this for GLX nor even for Commuter Rail to NH nor any other project (if I was to guess the next closest, it is probably when they announced Track 61 - which they quietly killed after they realized how dumb it was).
I'll admit that the enthusiasm for the project isn't as visible or obvious as it is for other projects. It's hard to maintain enthusiasm and energy fighting for something for 30+ years. Many (most) people on the South Coast still don't believe it's ever going to happen. But there is definitely a grassroots push for this that's strong and has been ongoing for a while. You can see it to an extent on facebook here and here. Both of those have gone some time between posts, but I think that speaks to how demoralizing it is to advocate for so long. You also see it in the local blogs/outlets like New Bedford Guide, Fall River Reporter as well as the larger papers like Standard Times, Herald News, Taunton Gazette, etc. But not so much in the Boston papers because the population that stands to gain the most from this is well outside the Boston area (unlike BLX, GLX, etc.).

I've seen it most in the rail meetings I've been to and when local political campaigns are ramping up. You're almost certainly not going to be elected in the region if you don't support the project. It's almost always one of the first topics to come up, and one of the longest discussed. They're all going to "hold Beacon Hill accountable for ignoring Fall River/New Bedford for far too long!"

That's why I think the politics is a big piece of this. We all know it's a flawed project. There's no way a fiscally conservative Governor pushes through an expensive and flawed project unless there's political pressure to do so. There's no political pressure to do so if the people in the South Coast don't put that pressure on their local delegation.
 

Rover

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Lrfox, I agree with a lot of it but there's little political benefit to Baker who to his credit is the governor who's actually getting it done. Even if he runs again, and that's a big if, I don't see the south coast as being a political kingmaker in the 2022 elections. Fall River's mayor is under indictment so the only benefit he'll be reaping will be with the parole board by the time the trains start running. Of course South Coast pols have been pushing for it but they've been doing that for 30 years to no avail.

My guess is the economic justice issue is carrying the day, along with the increased focus on improving transit. As in, GLX, BLX, Red-Blue, etc are all worthwhile projects but every infrastructure dollar can't be earmarked towards Boston and its neighbors.

I do completely agree with your assessment that after 30 years residents are most likely doing a wait and see attitude instead of a loud grassroots campaign.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

My guess is the economic justice issue is carrying the day, along with the increased focus on improving transit. As in, GLX, BLX, Red-Blue, etc are all worthwhile projects but every infrastructure dollar can't be earmarked towards Boston and its neighbors.
This Admin. keeps punting on the slam-dunk ridership forecasts for the Inland Route to Springfield...which even flying under the Amtrak banner would not require 3-hour waits between trains. How again is this a big bad Boston problem again???

The wistful idea of it in some pols' heads about economic justice is not borne out by reality. There will be vanishingly little economic coattails with service so sparse few people can personally or professionally justify taking it. And this project has never EVER answered the question on the Fall River Branch of how buses are going to integrate with the commuter rail while the bus depot is way over at City Hall. There's only one SRTA route that goes to Fall River Depot; it's not even easy to get to the train from within most of the project's own co-host city.

Improve transit??? That is simply a laugher given that Baker was the one governor in a chain of 7 to break the service's back by ramming through the service-impoverished Phase I kludge while all his predecessors were backing a full-service Stoughton build. Yes, none of them funded it. But actually, as of today no one has STILL funded the full-service option, including Baker. But all the other guys and gal took one look at the Middleboro Alt., saw why the scoping study panned it despite the lower cost, and said 'Hell no! I'll get crucified for spending on service no one will ride." It wasn't bravery or commitment to follow-through to choose the stupidest, most broken, most oft-rejected option and run with it.

Now, by direct consequence of breaking the service so badly the ridership projections crashed this Admin. ensured that Phase II never ever has to be built. W00t!...music to the ears of the Admin. that wants to bury very much not- Boston-specific RER. Oh, and by doing it this way the state also broke Buzzards Bay CR and any chance of non-Cape Flyer Hyannis runs in the process. There is no increased focus on improving transit outside of Boston when the kludge routing no other Administration wanted to hold nose and build ended up directly breaking the chances for tolerable frequencies here, any frequencies on the Cape, and apparently is costing us any realistic chance of funding for establishing a link between Eastern MA to Western MA, Central Connecticut, Vermont, and Montreal.


But do go on some more about how Boston is sucking up all the resources from the rest of the state. Or whoever qualifies as "the rest of the state" today in that ever-shifting definition.
 

Rover

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Lots of irrelevant tangents here while wondering if F-Line has had his blood pressure checked recently, but let me pick out some highlights:

But do go on some more about how Boston is sucking up all the resources from the rest of the state. Or whoever qualifies as "the rest of the state" today in that ever-shifting definition.
:confused: Not sure where you got this from but I merely stated from an economic justice perspective not every dollar should be spent in Boston. Personally I live in the leafy loaded and liberal western suburbs of Boston so the Boston based improvements would benefit me a lot more than South Coast rail which I don't plan on using as I don't live there.

The wistful idea of it in some pols' heads about economic justice is not borne out by reality. There will be vanishingly little economic coattails with service so sparse few people can personally or professionally justify taking it. And this project has never EVER answered the question on the Fall River Branch of how buses are going to integrate with the commuter rail while the bus depot is way over at City Hall. There's only one SRTA route that goes to Fall River Depot; it's not even easy to get to the train from within most of the project's own co-host city.
Once built, as I've said repeatedly, the people of this area will need to put up or shut up. As in ride the thing. That will determine economic coattails not the bleating of you or I on this message board. As others have pointed out several times, this is not just a FR or NB centered project as Taunton and other towns along the route benefit as well.

Also have you ever actually been to Fall River, and do you regularly spend time in the city? Honest question, and I'm curious if your opinion is based on first hand, or second hand, knowledge. Its up to Fall River to reconfigure their bus lines as needed to get to the station, or set up a good drop off/pick up and parking area as many resident down there own cars given the sparse public transit available to them.

Oh, and by doing it this way the state also broke Buzzards Bay CR and any chance of non-Cape Flyer Hyannis runs in the process. There is no increased focus on improving transit outside of Boston when the kludge routing no other Administration wanted to hold nose and build ended up directly breaking the chances for tolerable frequencies here, any frequencies on the Cape, and apparently is costing us any realistic chance of funding for establishing a link between Eastern MA to Western MA, Central Connecticut, Vermont, and Montreal.
No offense but this is your most out there post yet. You are more concerned with running transit connections to Connecticut (not in Massachusetts last time I checked), Vermont (ditto), and Montreal (still part of Canada, right?) instead of to taxpaying citizens of our own state? Huh. I'm also curious what trains that would go to North Station presumably (VT, Montreal) would be affected by South Coast rail which goes to South Station, but that's one of those irrelevant tangents that maybe we can save for another thread. While I'm sorry for the good people of Hyannis, population 14,000 and 70 miles away from Boston, how in God's name does that take precedence over the distance and population of the South Coast cities of Taunton, FR and NB? That.Makes.No.Sense.

Finally, I close by saying if you have evidence of double dealing, nefarious intent, or anything else regarding the Admin's true feeling about non Boston related transit, please show your cards.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Are we in agreement yet that this is obvious shitposting?
 

ant8904

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Are we in agreement yet that this is obvious shitposting?
First, I already explained shitposting mean entirely different thing that the way you're using it. Of course, that is semantics, but now I'm getting annoyed because I already explained shitposting is what armpitsofmight or posts like what you see on reddit.com/r/memes.

But I guess that is besides the point. Getting into semantics doesn't address you point which if Rover is arguing in bad faith. That's called trolling - that meaning ranges a bit but the crux is if Rover is just making arguments to trigger arguments and other reactions without genuine belief in the arguments.

Do I agree he is trolling? Well, I don't have the confidence in my own readings on that. He seems genuine in his belief to me. Either I don't have the expertise to see how bad his arguments or I just cannot agree he is trolling.

I do want to note that your assessment sounds correct that Phase 1 is bad.

-----------

After following these posts so far, I think my own personal conclusions are this

1. This is a bad project. It is being done in a half-assed fashion. Whether it is intentional to kill future phases or incompetence of the State/Baker lacking the will to do it right is choosing a path that will ultimately fail is I don't know.

2. The fact this project is being done so poorly is why I don't see this board, advocacy group, or local media been very supportive of this project.

3. LRFox shows me that there is authentic support for this project. It is quieter and less visible than others, but it exists. I still find it weird how this is visibly less than other projects (not just BLX or GLX where one can argue it's local thing, but projects like Commuter Rail to NH).

4. Part of why the state is doing it does to seem to be some kind of "state equity". The state owes FR/NB rail after all this time. But since they don't have guts to do it right that would bring proper frequencies and everything, they choose a half-assed version. It is paradoxically more guts than projects like GLX, where the state would gladly cancel it if it wasn't for grassroots groups like STEP, news media, and the mayors, but still not enough to actually do it right. I am still perplex but this, but I guess Baker cant choose the kill option on the one project that should be killed (and he lacks the leadership to choose to do it right).

5. #4 still doesn't sound satisfactory in the end tho.
 

ulrichomega

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Are we in agreement yet that this is obvious shitposting?
No. Can we stop taking "We fundamentally disagree on this issue" to mean the same thing as "People that disagree with me are bad"? Yours are the posts that are far more inflammatory than theirs. This is an issue of fundamental disagreement over various aspects of the discussion, it doesn't mean that Rover is only posting to upset you personally.
 

ErnieAdams

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No. Can we stop taking "We fundamentally disagree on this issue" to mean the same thing as "People that disagree with me are bad"? Yours are the posts that are far more inflammatory than theirs. This is an issue of fundamental disagreement over various aspects of the discussion, it doesn't mean that Rover is only posting to upset you personally.
Correct. F-Line is a rightful aB legend but sometimes he has trouble locating his thermostat. If I had a nickel for every time I got sideways with F-Line over something like this, I'm pretty sure I'd have five cents.

HOWEVER, Rover, you can't ask an "honest question" about whether someone has ever been to Fall River in one paragraph, and then dismiss "the good people of Hyannis, population 14,000" in the next paragraph. The Cape and Islands region has a year-round population almost exactly the same as the combined populations of NB, FR and Taunton, around 242k (source). In the summer the population is widely estimated to swell by 250%, or greater than the year-round population of all of Bristol County. And during that high season, its accessibility by road is worse by a magnitude than access by road to any of those cities. No, it's not likely ever to be a daily commuter train, and nobody is arguing that it's worthier of service than the South Coast. But it has a demonstrated ability to support a seasonal route, one which the powers-that-be would do well to expand to at least daily service in the summer, either direct to Boston or via shuttle train to Middleboro. And when they have to start replacing those awful old bridges over the canal*, the train could play a vital role as a release valve for the decade-plus of vehicular chaos that will likely ensue. F-Line's point is that the squeezing of the Old Colony schedule brought about by SCR Phase I could make any additional direct service from Boston to Cape Cod impossible, and that such service would indeed be worthy. The point that Phase I is part of a zero-sum game with negative consequences to other transit services, real or potential, can't be waved away so easily.

*This is coming sooner than we might expect; the House just proposed appropriating design funds for these replacements (the bridges are managed by the Army Corps of Engineers) and Baker's $18B transpo bond bill included $350M for the approach roads.
 

Rover

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

HOWEVER, Rover, you can't ask an "honest question" about whether someone has ever been to Fall River in one paragraph, and then dismiss "the good people of Hyannis, population 14,000" in the next paragraph. The Cape and Islands region has a year-round population almost exactly the same as the combined populations of NB, FR and Taunton, around 242k (source). In the summer the population is widely estimated to swell by 250%, or greater than the year-round population of all of Bristol County. And during that high season, its accessibility by road is worse by a magnitude than access by road to any of those cities. No, it's not likely ever to be a daily commuter train, and nobody is arguing that it's worthier of service than the South Coast. But it has a demonstrated ability to support a seasonal route, one which the powers-that-be would do well to expand to at least daily service in the summer, either direct to Boston or via shuttle train to Middleboro. And when they have to start replacing those awful old bridges over the canal*, the train could play a vital role as a release valve for the decade-plus of vehicular chaos that will likely ensue. F-Line's point is that the squeezing of the Old Colony schedule brought about by SCR Phase I could make any additional direct service from Boston to Cape Cod impossible, and that such service would indeed be worthy. The point that Phase I is part of a zero-sum game with negative consequences to other transit services, real or potential, can't be waved away so easily.
I don't disagree with too much here but this isn't an apples to orange comparison. You're equating the population of the Cape and Islands with only FR, NB and Taunton if I'm reading you correctly. Put aside the Islands as maybe belonging in their own category as getting to Hyannis if that's your starting point is a bunch of added logistics involving a ferry at the very least. Are you including the other towns in the South Coast region? Off the top of my head Freetown, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Westport, Dighton, etc should also be part of the analysis and that very well could be another 100K people.

Regarding Fall River its a simple question for F-Line (that he ducked). He's writing about the bus terminal locations and this and that like its a fatal problem for the rail's success, but I'm curious if he's ever been there to judge that firsthand or if he's looking at Google Earth. I personally have been to both places multiple times so I do have some context for what its worth.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Regarding Fall River its a simple question for F-Line (that he ducked).
You re-write that exact post sans all the dripping contempt and personal attacks, and I'll happily answer every single question posed.

But not one second before then.
 

Lrfox

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

He's writing about the bus terminal locations and this and that like its a fatal problem for the rail's success, but I'm curious if he's ever been there to judge that firsthand or if he's looking at Google Earth. I personally have been to both places multiple times so I do have some context for what its worth.
I wouldn't focus too much on that one specific point. F-Line has laid out a laundry list of technical issues and this is just one more. And it's definitely something worth noting and something that the people of Fall River have identified as an area of concern. The Battleship station was pushed hard largely because it was more central (and also largely because there's a huge contingent that believes reverse tourism is going to be a big thing in Fall River). One bus line is better than none, and the area is fairly dense/urban and is also reasonably bike friendly, so it's not as if it's no mans land. Moreover, it's a terminus station with easy Route 6, 79, and 195. So like most other terminus stations, the vast majority of riders there will be arriving by car from within the city and from places like Tiverton, Westport, Somerset, Swansea, etc.

But it stands to reason that if you want to peg this project as "economic justice," you should make damn sure that the most underprivileged segment of the population (many of those dependent on the bus) have good access. Otherwise this service will be utilized mostly by people of relative means who are already driving to Boston, taking the CR from Middleborough/Lakeville, taking Peter Pan/Dattco, and a handful of new middle class & white collar workers who previously omitted Boston from job searches due to the nasty drive times/complex transit options.
 

ErnieAdams

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

I don't disagree with too much here but this isn't an apples to orange comparison. You're equating the population of the Cape and Islands with only FR, NB and Taunton if I'm reading you correctly. Put aside the Islands as maybe belonging in their own category as getting to Hyannis if that's your starting point is a bunch of added logistics involving a ferry at the very least. Are you including the other towns in the South Coast region? Off the top of my head Freetown, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Westport, Dighton, etc should also be part of the analysis and that very well could be another 100K people.
Of course it isn't apples to apples, and no I didn't include the surrounding suburbs, but the two regions don't need the same service so apples/apples isn't appropriate here. I said that the Cape region probably has more people than all of Bristol County in the summer, which is when the service is most needed, and that for the rest of the year the comparison isn't as ridiculous as you made it out to be. And yes, given that the Hyannis train station is a single block away from the two ferry terminals on the harbor and that the CapeFLYER's schedule is already coordinated with ferry departures, it's absolutely appropriate to include the Islands as places that would benefit from the service.

All of that said, SCR could actually help the Islands if the scheduled runs to New Bedford are coordinated similarly with the fast ferries embarking from there. A trip from Boston to MVY via New Bedford rail is a really enticing prospect if they can make it work.
 

FK4

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Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Is the solution to poo-slinging itself more poo-slinging? Can we stop perpetuating such comments and get back to analysis of the project at hand?
What I saw of what Rover said is pointing out a bunch of posts before have was speculating things real estate owners are what driving this project and etc which we have seen zero evidence. And Rover getting a little hostile by saying "maybe you're not as smart as you think you are". That is a little hostile but that's far less hostile responding the post is "anti-intellectual shitposting".

And Rifleman keeps devolving his posts into making it about Liberals and Conservatives and stuff. I fail to see how Rover saying "maybe you're not as smart as you think you are" and pointing that the previous posts really did speculate without evidence of things like real estate speculation is in the same category.


If you to see what is shitposting, go look up Armpitsofmight's posts on this site (interestingly, he perfected how to shitpost before that term was even coined). Go to reddit.com/r/memes more examples of shitposting. Rover's post is not shitposting.

But I guess that is besides the point. Getting into semantics doesn't address you point which if Rover is arguing in bad faith. That's called trolling - that meaning ranges a bit but the crux is if Rover is just making arguments to trigger arguments and other reactions without genuine belief in the arguments.

Do I agree he is trolling? Well, I don't have the confidence in my own readings on that. He seems genuine in his belief to me. Either I don't have the expertise to see how bad his arguments or I just cannot agree he is trolling.

I do want to note that your assessment sounds correct that Phase 1 is bad.

I was going to let it go, because (perhaps) there are more appropriate places to litigate what one feels about members of this site who are unnecessarily inflammatory, trollish, or obvious trolls. But, since, as trolls do, Rover has continued to fuel the fire I will respond to these remarks here.

What I was referring to, and what F-Line was quite definitely referring to in his initial remark that kicked off this whole spat, was not simply Rover's most recent post, but his history on this site of [what I would most definitely call] shitposting. His general modus operandi is to to wade in with snipes but then back away when confronted, using facts very selectively, and making not-so-subtle digs at people who disagree with him and then NOT RESPONDING in detail to the thoughtful, reasoned counterpoints against whatever it is he may be saying.

Now, this combination of jabs and pseudointellectual bloviation might not be trolling—really, the only question is whether this is a learned personality trait that has helped him win arguments in his social circles in the "leafy, loaded and liberal suburb" in which he resides or whether he is intentionally trying to upset people. Rifleman wanted to stir things up, no other goal as far as I can tell. Certainly a troll. I think perhaps Rover, at least consciously, would like to participate in the discussion here. But the way he goes about it—jab, then talking around the points of the opponent, then flat out failing to address in any specific, concrete, factual way the specific, concrete and factual counterpoints that have been levied at him—is NOT in good faith, and I for one do not feel contribute positively to this forum. The repeated pattern of skirmish, insult, then dodge constitutes the very definition of shitposting, even if it's not as absurdly obvious as armpitsofmight or Rifleman. Yes, I'm well familiar with the former user.


No. Can we stop taking "We fundamentally disagree on this issue" to mean the same thing as "People that disagree with me are bad"? Yours are the posts that are far more inflammatory than theirs. This is an issue of fundamental disagreement over various aspects of the discussion, it doesn't mean that Rover is only posting to upset you personally.
Correct. F-Line is a rightful aB legend but sometimes he has trouble locating his thermostat. If I had a nickel for every time I got sideways with F-Line over something like this, I'm pretty sure I'd have five cents.
The fact that F-Line attacks people who disagree with him, at times, and may or may not have thermostat regulation issues does not change the fact that Rover is not negotiating in good faith. I do not like that one user's history (a user who's contributed a lot more, in fact) is being used to negate the argument here. F-line has also been rude to me, and yeah, that's not OK, but it doesn't change the facts of this particular case. Furthermore, while he may go on the attacks against people he disagrees with, he never, ever, has accused anyone on here of being a troll, simply in the heat of a dispute—when the person is not trolling. He may bark, but that accusation is not levied lightly. So let's just be a little bit more objective here. He is correctly responding in anger to someone who perseverates in playing fast and loose with the facts but when the counterpoints are levied, won't actually respond in anything more than either cherry picked information that ignores the real points or platitudinous generalities; in either case, always heavily laden with sarcastic tone. I think people who don't seem to realize what's going on here may need review some of the past to understand the context.

HOWEVER, Rover, you can't ask an "honest question" about whether someone has ever been to Fall River in one paragraph, and then dismiss "the good people of Hyannis, population 14,000" in the next paragraph. The Cape and Islands region has a year-round population almost exactly the same as the combined populations of NB, FR and Taunton, around 242k (source). In the summer the population is widely estimated to swell by 250%, or greater than the year-round population of all of Bristol County. And during that high season, its accessibility by road is worse by a magnitude than access by road to any of those cities. No, it's not likely ever to be a daily commuter train, and nobody is arguing that it's worthier of service than the South Coast. But it has a demonstrated ability to support a seasonal route, one which the powers-that-be would do well to expand to at least daily service in the summer, either direct to Boston or via shuttle train to Middleboro. And when they have to start replacing those awful old bridges over the canal*, the train could play a vital role as a release valve for the decade-plus of vehicular chaos that will likely ensue. F-Line's point is that the squeezing of the Old Colony schedule brought about by SCR Phase I could make any additional direct service from Boston to Cape Cod impossible, and that such service would indeed be worthy. The point that Phase I is part of a zero-sum game with negative consequences to other transit services, real or potential, can't be waved away so easily.


*This is coming sooner than we might expect; the House just proposed appropriating design funds for these replacements (the bridges are managed by the Army Corps of Engineers) and Baker's $18B transpo bond bill included $350M for the approach roads.
Exactly. Facts, please. This is a typical sample of a point-counterpoint with this user. Ernie posts this, and yet, this is the response we get to this actually reasoned post:

I don't disagree with too much here but this isn't an apples to orange comparison. You're equating the population of the Cape and Islands with only FR, NB and Taunton if I'm reading you correctly. Put aside the Islands as maybe belonging in their own category as getting to Hyannis if that's your starting point is a bunch of added logistics involving a ferry at the very least. Are you including the other towns in the South Coast region? Off the top of my head Freetown, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Westport, Dighton, etc should also be part of the analysis and that very well could be another 100K people.

Regarding Fall River its a simple question for F-Line (that he ducked). He's writing about the bus terminal locations and this and that like its a fatal problem for the rail's success, but I'm curious if he's ever been there to judge that firsthand or if he's looking at Google Earth. I personally have been to both places multiple times so I do have some context for what its worth.
I'm sorry, how is this not shitposting? This is a pseudo-reasoned response, replete with personal snipes. Bringing in the additional towns of the South Coast without any (apparent) knowledge of transit patterns of those towns, where people work, where the demand is, or even actually bothering to look up the populations but just guessing that, oh, maybe they add up to 100k and that somehow makes this project equivalent should arouse suspicions in any reader. Notice that having a granular knowledge of movement patterns of the urban regions may be lacking in almost all of us here on aB, but simply indicating that "I've been to the bus station in FR, F-Line probably hasn't, ergo he doesn't know what he's talking about re: every single very well reasoned point about this project" is utterly insane.

The fact that each response we ever get is, in the correct words of F-Line, "dripping [with] contempt and personal attacks", again reinforces my impression that this is either a troll or a troll equivalent who is not actually here to debate in good faith, but, at the very possible best, here to derive self-satisfaction over his own arguments and, at worst, to piss other people off. People on here put a lot of time, effort and knowledge into their posts, and to see someone so consistently play so fast and loose with facts in combination with personal insults, is a user I for one don't appreciate on this forum.
 

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