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

Rover

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
137
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

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Are we in agreement yet that this is obvious shitposting?
 

ant8904

Active Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
608
Reaction score
2
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

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
122
Reaction score
59
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

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
251
Reaction score
64
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

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

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
137
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

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
1,017
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

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
2,619
Reaction score
144
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

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
251
Reaction score
64
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

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,505
Reaction score
148
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.
 

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
251
Reaction score
64
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

You know what, I'm not just the president of the Ignore List Fan Club, I'm also a client. If that's what's been going on with this guy, and maybe I'll find that out for myself when the next reply to me is a nonsequitur on how the Braga bridge is way more important than the canal bridges are to our regional infrastructure, then smash that ignore button tonight and wake up to a happier tomorrow. You can't fix people, and moderation is a slow burn around here (which I'm fine with FWIW). All you can do is make it easier on yourself to go super deep on South Coast Rail and the butterfly effect therefrom. That's my real jam, that and ignoring the people who irritate me. Sic Semper Ignore List.
 

ant8904

Active Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
608
Reaction score
2
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

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.
What you're describing seem to be Rover is a more subtle version of TheMagicMan. Posting stuff that inflame and/or annoy without any singular act that actually violate an explicit rule or understood decor. The only threads I see him (or at least followed/active enough to leave an impression) is in the Congestion Tolling thread and here. I haven't seen enough posts to detect that level. That or I just lack that ability to see that nuance. I'm just gonna back away at this point. I just want to understand paradoxical nature of this project where I seem the least favorable press and the most support from the state. Meanwhile the projects I do see the more support gets the opposite level for state support.
 

Rover

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
137
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

You know what, I'm not just the president of the Ignore List Fan Club, I'm also a client. If that's what's been going on with this guy, and maybe I'll find that out for myself when the next reply to me is a nonsequitur on how the Braga bridge is way more important than the canal bridges are to our regional infrastructure, .
The Braga bridge is a way more important than...oh wait a minute. ;-)

I fail to see how me pressing F-Line or anybody for some background on their opinions is shitposting? I can give as good as I get obviously, but someone point out to me where I asked a non-legitimate question over the past couple of days? I've never questioned F-Line's technical knowledge but asking people to show evidence of bribes, payoffs, duplicity or anything else shouldn't offend the people making the accusations. If SCR is moving forward primarily because someone is being paid off I too as a taxpaying citizen would not want this project, or ANY project, going forward under those circumstances. I agree with maybe it was ant who said he's learned a few things from our exchanges out here. So have I.

Not sure why I'm living rent free in FK4's head but really not a lot I can do about that and to be completely clear I honestly don't care. If I was actually trolling people I'm sure the moderators would deal with that. Notice however that my posts do always stay on subject...

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.
EDIT: I meant to address this as well. I was thinking the same thing, although I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how much it would get used. Whale's Tooth is near, but not quite at, the State Pier where the ferry to the islands runs. That's also a bit of an industrial area filled with seafood processing warehouses that would need to be beautified a bit but much like the Cape Flyer or running trains to Gillette during football season I definitely see some possibilities here.

I just want to understand paradoxical nature of this project where I seem the least favorable press and the most support from the state. Meanwhile the projects I do see the more support gets the opposite level for state support.
I would say that its a combination of the economic justice issue first and foremost along with this project being on the drawing board for 30 years and with being outside of the Boston media market. Finally I'd say at least for Phase I its the least disruptive of some of the other projects. GLX and Blue-Red for example. Its easier to get a project off the ground if you're not tearing up a main street in a populated area or having to redo all the overpasses in the middle of the city.
 
Last edited:

roy_mustang76

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
11
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

I would say that its a combination of the economic justice issue first and foremost along with this project being on the drawing board for 30 years and with being outside of the Boston media market. Finally I'd say at least for Phase I its the least disruptive of some of the other projects. GLX and Blue-Red for example. Its easier to get a project off the ground if you're not tearing up a main street in a populated area or having to redo all the overpasses in the middle of the city.
I'm brand new here, so I am not going to touch the troll/shitposting argument with a ten-foot pole.

I will, however, say that economic justice is about much more than simply having token train service. If the idea is that Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton need to be connected to Boston, it should be in a meaningful, useful way, even if that means step 1 can't be a train because the train can't be run usefully from day 1. If the train is too disruptive to do at first, do something less disruptive to start - I've got thoughts on what you could do that is better than the present Phase I and even less disruptive.

We're talking about a service that, even in the best case scenario, is slated to provide the worst branch level service patterns of any CR branch (3 peak trains for each terminal, compared to Kingston/Plymouth's 5 AM/4 PM trains, or Newburyport and Rockport's 5 peak trains each, or or or). On top of that, off-peak service is on a 3-hour frequency? If I were in either community, I'd much rather have hourly bus service, at least I have an idea of when the bus will leave. This gets moderately better for Taunton because they get the combination of service patterns, but... correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that after Phase II Taunton would actually lose service levels because of skip-stopping, making this useless all-round.

In that case, all of these communities are probably better served by rubber-tire connections, at least until we can fix the Stoughton routing:

Taunton: Scheduled bus connections to/from Mansfield Station, connecting to a far more robust schedule on the Providence Line than can ever be hoped for running via Middleboro. Can't use Charliecard for CR, so maybe make these buses free with proof of CR fare to avoid whacking non-passholders twice?

Fall River/New Bedford: Commuter buses with Charlie fare platform (for fare integration with both MBTA and SRTA), running a CR-like schedule that is actually semi-useful off-peak. Doesn't need to be every 30 minutes, but it's definitely got to beat every 3 hours off-peak that the broken alts are trotting out. Hell, cut a deal with DATTCO to hijack their service for New Bedford, I'm sure they wouldn't mind adding a few trips in return for state money.

That would be my Phase I, if we are trying to have something right freaking now in the name of economic justice. Roll it out quicker, cheaper, and without the likelihood that someone is going to look at this and say "wow, no one is riding these trains, let's not drop all this money on running via Stoughton", and provide more real life utility to the three key communities. If you do it right, you might even end up with concrete ridership numbers to say "hey, this is why we really need to build the Stoughton alt correctly", and services robust enough in terms of frequency that gimping any alts would correctly then be seen as a reduction of service and probably be a nonstarter politically.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,470
Reaction score
828
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Great first post. Welcome!
 

Rover

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
806
Reaction score
137
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Yes, welcome Roy! I had a couple of questions:

1) I've never seen a proposal to run busses from Taunton to Mansfield. If that's your invention, kudos for thinking outside of the box. How much time to you suppose that would take to get from a central place in Taunton over to Mansfield? I've never attempted that drive myself.

2) Are you suggesting MBTA bus service from NB and FR to South Station or to Mansfield as well?
 

roy_mustang76

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
11
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

Yes, welcome Roy! I had a couple of questions:

1) I've never seen a proposal to run busses from Taunton to Mansfield. If that's your invention, kudos for thinking outside of the box. How much time to you suppose that would take to get from a central place in Taunton over to Mansfield? I've never attempted that drive myself.

2) Are you suggesting MBTA bus service from NB and FR to South Station or to Mansfield as well?
I'm just glad I didn't kill the thread!

1) The bus connections are not entirely my idea, I'm fairly sure I saw someone else float a bus connection (though for Taunton or NB/FR, I'm not certain). You could, in theory, go to either Mansfield or Middleborough - they are roughly the same 25 minutes or so away, Mansfield is more likely to take a few extra minutes during rush. If frequency is king, then Mansfield with it's 9 AM rush trains and 6 PM rush trains is going to win out. I suppose you could do both with all this money, but I can't help but feel like that might actually make things more complicated for commuters.

2) I'm floating NB and FR get express service to South Station (whether that gets run as MBTA, SRTA, or contracted out to DATTCO with cross-honoring is an open question). To my knowledge, Fall River doesn't have anything of the sort right now, but New Bedford does! It may be privately run, have poor off-peak headways, and not always show up, but those are fixable problems, especially for the number of dollars we are talking about here.

Now, that's a long bus ride for sure (which is why DATTCO runs motorcoaches instead of standard MBTA bus stock), but it gets the 1-seat ride, and can be ramped up to headways that are equivalent to the end-goal.

As a supplement, you could also run shuttle service connecting to Commuter Rail service... in Providence. Mansfield is a bit too far north to be logical for a bus connection from either New Bedford or Fall River, and Middleborough similarly doesn't make much sense from Fall River, even if it might not be awful from New Bedford. MBTA/SRTA service to Providence could make that ride more affordable, and similar to the Mansfield shuttle, make the bus free with proof of a CR trip (or if the T ever gets CR on the same fare platform as the rest of our little universe, that becomes trivial to handle while still collecting regular fares for the point-to-point market).
 
Last edited:

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,542
Reaction score
520
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

I'm just glad I didn't kill the thread!

1) The bus connections are not entirely my idea, I'm fairly sure I saw someone else float a bus connection (though for Taunton or NB/FR, I'm not certain). You could, in theory, go to either Mansfield or Middleborough - they are roughly the same 25 minutes or so away, Mansfield is more likely to take a few extra minutes during rush. If frequency is king, then Mansfield with it's 9 AM rush trains and 6 PM rush trains is going to win out. I suppose you could do both with all this money, but I can't help but feel like that might actually make things more complicated for commuters.

2) I'm floating NB and FR get express service to South Station (whether that gets run as MBTA, SRTA, or contracted out to DATTCO with cross-honoring is an open question). To my knowledge, Fall River doesn't have anything of the sort right now, but New Bedford does! It may be privately run, have poor off-peak headways, and not always show up, but those are fixable problems, especially for the number of dollars we are talking about here.

Now, that's a long bus ride for sure (which is why DATTCO runs motorcoaches instead of standard MBTA bus stock), but it gets the 1-seat ride, and can be ramped up to headways that are equivalent to the end-goal.

As a supplement, you could also run shuttle service connecting to Commuter Rail service... in Providence. Mansfield is a bit too far north to be logical for a bus connection from either New Bedford or Fall River, and Middleborough similarly doesn't make much sense from Fall River, even if it might not be awful from New Bedford. MBTA/SRTA service to Providence could make that ride more affordable, and similar to the Mansfield shuttle, make the bus free with proof of a CR trip (or if the T ever gets CR on the same fare platform as the rest of our little universe, that becomes trivial to handle while still collecting regular fares for the point-to-point market).
Roy-M welcome to the discussion

With all do respect to Sec Polack's report -- file it and move on to real solutions

I continue to believe that the true definition of economic justice is seizing opportunity to improve everyone's status

Despite what some would like to believe are obvious trends that everyone wants to live and work in Boston or any smaller city -- there are lots of folks who for various reasons will be completely satisfied working and living in non-urban settings. In addition there are plenty of employers who don't want to be in Kendall or the Seaport.

That's the preamble

Now the amble -- Boston is surrounded by layers of smaller cities and many towns which are reasonably well interconnected by highways [not necessarily interstate class] and less well connected by rail lines [or abandoned rail right of way] -- mostly radial. There are then the inner few which are connected by subway type of service exclusively radial.

Given that Boston and the rest of the urban core are the fastest growing -- all of the possible enhancements to transit should concentrate on the existing network before anything other than trial-type bus extensions of service:

  1. Fix all the existing known problems and limitations including making simple additions to the core of the system
    1. a pedestrian link tieing all the lines together at DTX,
    2. Dig under D and make the Silver Line from South Station to Silver Line Way -- true electric high frequency [vehicles not electricity] rapid transit
    3. Complete the Green Line to Medford and let it develop just as the Red Line to Alewife developed over then next 4 decades
  2. Do as many in-fill CR and possibly subway projects in partnership with the developers of the relevant areas
    1. West - Harvard -Alston CR
    2. West Kendall Red Line about half way from Kendall to Central close to the Grand Junction path
    3. Wonderland CR - to Blue Line superstation -- let this and Suffolk develop
  3. Blue Line to Lynn
  4. Red-Blue connection @ Charles with possible extension beyond
[*] Build a CR Superstation south of Boston [Taunton?] for bus service to / from places like Fall River, New Bedford
[*] electrify CR out to Lowell, Worcester with high frequency dedicated service to major destinations
[/list]

Everything else is best handled by buses of some type at least until there is proven demand

The best way to achieve economic justice is to do what is economically justified -- not to do something just for the sake of doing or making someone feel good about spending
 

roy_mustang76

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
11
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

I absolutely agree, but you don’t move the ball politically by saying “hey I know you want this for your community and the state keeps saying you’ll get something, but yeah no”. That’s an excellent way to create entrenched institutional enemies (likely why Gov. Patrick didn’t kill this).

The reality is this:

1) Economic justice reasons or not, the South Coast has virtually no transit links to either Boston or Providence.
2) The bus options that do exist are privatized, expensive, have sparse headways, and aren’t all that reliable.
3) Denying the South Coast improves transit altogether hampers the goal of securing funding for improvements in the urban core.

Now, you’re going to correctly say that you only said there should be bus service, not that they should have no transit, but for residents who have been waiting on this, a nebulous “we’ll give you buses” isn’t going to fly. If you’re going to pull $1.1 billion in funding from a region and replace it with buses, you had better be very specific upfront about what you are doing with those buses and how they make their lives better. I wish we hadn’t promised that money, but the State has and that is the world we must now contend with.
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
375
Reaction score
45
Re: Fall River/New Bedford Commuter Rail

GATRA operates a Taunton-Norton-Attleboro route that has pretty terrible headways in the morning rush that sorta kinda are timed transfers to commuter rail. There is a separate Norton-Mansfield route which has comparatively good headways, but I would not propose that a two-ride GATRA itinerary is a realistic part of a commuter's route.

Taunton-Mansfield is obviously more direct, but the bus infrastructure at Attleboro is more built out, and Attleboro is probably a bit more of a local commuter draw anyway, thanks to Bristol Community College and Sturdy Hospital.

So one option would be to beef up the GATRA feeder service to Attleboro, and institute a Commuter Express service from Taunton to Norton to Mansfield.

In terms of services to Fall River and New Bedford, I think reliable public commuter coaches to both Providence and Taunton/Middleborough would be a good measure. Providence-Fall River-New Bedford form a natural corridor as-is that totally lacks public transit. Providence is also likeliest to get electrified commuter rail soon, with hopefully some speed improvements. Express bus from Fall River, transfer to electric train in Providence -- done right, that could potentially be reasonable.

Rail service to Taunton, whether from Middleborough, Stoughton or Mansfield, is a worthwhile goal in and of itself. If Middleboro/Lakeville station weren't on the wrong side of the junction, I would say just go ahead and extend the Middleboro/Lakeville Line 10 miles west (not much farther than the current 8 miles between Bridgewater and M/L). As is, this would either require a time-consuming reverse-move à la Plymouth, or splitting the line north of the station, with some trains going to Taunton and some to M/L.

M/L morning peak headways are already in the 40-60 minute range, and M/L station itself is one of the higher-ridership stops on the route. Splitting the line and therefore the frequencies is a pretty yucky prospect then.

If some magic could happen that could increase the frequencies on the Middleboro/Lakeville Line, then maybe we could get away with line-splitting. The afore-mentioned short-turns of Greenbush and Kingston trains was snuck in to one of the Rail Vision alternatives a few months back and is evocative of one of the crazier ideas entertained mid-century -- terminate all commuter rail routes around 128, and force all riders to transfer to rapid transit.

If M/L service really could be boosted into the 10-20 minute headway territory with timed transfers and the Red Line got some frequency boosts, maybe that idea could work, but I'm skeptical.
 

Top