MassDOT Rail: Springfield Hub (East-West, NNERI, Berkshires, CT-Valley-VT-Quebec)

bigeman312

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I don’t know if it’s just a “culture” thing. Our infrastructure is built in such a way that most Americans really can’t travel anywhere at all without driving. Even in a big city/metro like Boston there are a lot of transit voids or missing connections. Central and Western MA don’t even have Boston’s lackluster options. There’s only one: cars.
Absolutely. You are describing the setting in which the culture arose. And also the development that is perpetuated by the dominant culture, that keeps the dominant culture entrenched.

It's that culture that causes people to reject solutions, such as congestion pricing on the Pike east of 128.
 

Blackbird

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This is a distinction without a difference. You are describing the setting in which the culture arose. And also the development that is perpetuated by the dominant culture, that keeps the dominant culture entrenched.
I think my disagreement is that the culture follows the infrastructure more than vice versa. I don’t think it’s a chicken/egg. I think people would be more open to congestion pricing and similar policies if alternatives existed. But they don’t.
 

bigeman312

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I think my disagreement is that the culture follows the infrastructure more than vice versa. I don’t think it’s a chicken/egg. I think people would be more open to congestion pricing and similar policies if alternatives existed. But they don’t.
I think it's both. The infrastructure that necessitates many rely on SOV causes people to feel deeply, emotionally ties to their vehicles, so I certainly don't disagree there. But people's feelings about their vehicles absolutely do lead them to advocate for infrastructure that prepetuates it.

"We need parking minimums. Where will they park their cars?"

EDITED TO ADD: I edited my original comment right as you responded to it. Sorry for the confusion of the unclear original!
 

Blackbird

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"We need parking minimums. Where will they park their cars?"
But they *know* that everyone who moves in will *have* to have a car, because there aren’t enough and good enough other options. It’s not just in their heads.

I can agree that at this point a lot of people are stuck advocating to perpetuate car culture. But most do it out of necessity.
 

bigeman312

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But they *know* that everyone who moves in will *have* to have a car, because there aren’t enough and good enough other options. It’s not just in their heads.

I can agree that at this point a lot of people are stuck advocating to perpetuate car culture. But most do it out of necessity.
The quote above was a quote from my father to me (a car-free person) about Pine Street Inn.

That you've been lead to believe "they know that everyone who moves in will have a car," proves the point I'm making. It is incorrect and shows you are perpetuating the very infrastructure that you recognize as being a poor solution. I do not fault you. Car culture is deeply ingrained.

An accurate statement would be that they think that most will have a car. But to state that "they know that everyone who moves in will have a car," is so tellingly superlative.
 

Blackbird

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That you've been lead to believe "they know that everyone who moves in will have a car," proves the point I'm making. It is incorrect
Do you have data around what percentage of people in Central and Western MA (or just MA in general) get around without a car?

Availability of on-street parking in his neighborhood could still impact your car-free father in several ways. However, we’re moving further away from the topic.

My point is that you won’t get anywhere punishing people for driving (e.g. congestion pricing) unless you provide alternatives first. Otherwise you’re just punishing people who have no other options.
 

bigeman312

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Do you have data around what percentage of people in Central and Western MA (or just MA in general) get around without a car?

Availability of on-street parking in his neighborhood could still impact your car-free father in several ways. However, we’re moving further away from the topic.

My point is that you won’t get anywhere punishing people for driving (e.g. congestion pricing) unless you provide alternatives first. Otherwise you’re just punishing people who have no other options.
My father is not car-free. The Pine Street Inn in question is in JP. My father lives inside of 128.

Central and Western Mass car usage is a distraction from the topic at hand. Congestion pricing is being discussed for the Greater Boston area, not for Central and Western Mass. I am not advocating for congestion pricing in Central and Western Mass. I'll requote myself so you can understand what I'm talking about:

It's that culture that causes people to reject solutions, such as congestion pricing on the Pike east of 128.
 

Blackbird

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Central and Western Mass car usage is a distraction from the topic at hand. Congestion pricing is being discussed for the Greater Boston area, not for Central and Western Mass. I am not advocating for congestion pricing in Central and Western Mass. I'll requote myself so you can understand what I'm talking about:
Ah ok. I still don’t know that Boston transit is good enough to support congestion pricing, but it’s definitely more reasonable than it would be out west.

I guess I got confused by the thread title.
 

bigeman312

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Ya, we (myself especially) have a tendency to veer way off-topic. Sorry!!
 

jklo

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The quote above was a quote from my father to me (a car-free person) about Pine Street Inn.

That you've been lead to believe "they know that everyone who moves in will have a car," proves the point I'm making. It is incorrect and shows you are perpetuating the very infrastructure that you recognize as being a poor solution. I do not fault you. Car culture is deeply ingrained.

An accurate statement would be that they think that most will have a car. But to state that "they know that everyone who moves in will have a car," is so tellingly superlative.
In keeping with this thread I'd say that close to 100% of people who would theoretically use the EW rail have a car. There are surely people but we are talking very low to no income and wouldn't have any reason to use the rail.
 

bigeman312

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In keeping with this thread I'd say that close to 100% of people who would theoretically use the EW rail have a car. There are surely people but we are talking very low to no income and wouldn't have any reason to use the rail.
I disagree. I think there will be car-free Boston-based riders who will use it, for example someone visiting family in Western Mass. I certainly think that the overwhelming majority of those who live in Central and Western Mass own cars though.

What percentage of Downeaster trips are taken by those who own a car? I bet this will be similar. I’d guess 80%-90%.
 

jklo

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I disagree. I think there will be car-free Boston-based riders who will use it, for example someone visiting family in Western Mass. I certainly think that the overwhelming majority of those who live in Central and Western Mass own cars though.
Something tells me they aren't potentially spending 3 billion dollars so Boston residents can go to Springfield more often than what Amtrak offers today.
 

Tallguy

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So, the Wor-Bos trip takes 80-95 min right now. Thousands of people ride every day. Worcester has grown by 15% in the last 10 yrs. RE is through the roof. Development in downtown is crazy.
Transitmatters plan suggests the same 90 min trip from Springfield, as well as 45min from Worcester.
Springfield should be the next Worcester. For $2B, including bringing the present line up to RR standards.
 

bigeman312

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Something tells me they aren't potentially spending 3 billion dollars so Boston residents can go to Springfield more often than what Amtrak offers today.
Maybe so, but that's beside the point. You made the claim that close to 100% of riders will be car-owners and I think that is an overestimate. I'd bet on 80%-90% is much closer to accurate. I simply used an example of a rider who might not own a car, not an example of a reason why Massachusetts is potentially going to spend 3 billion dollars.

Another example of a potential car-free rider is a college student.

I know you are trying to be funny and dismissive as an argument tactic, but let's steer clear of that low-level contribution that's exemplary of the slide into mediocrity we've seen on this board.
 

HenryAlan

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So, the Wor-Bos trip takes 80-95 min right now. Thousands of people ride every day. Worcester has grown by 15% in the last 10 yrs. RE is through the roof. Development in downtown is crazy.
Transitmatters plan suggests the same 90 min trip from Springfield, as well as 45min from Worcester.
Springfield should be the next Worcester. For $2B, including bringing the present line up to RR standards.
This is an interesting way to frame the question, and also applies to the New Bedford/Fall River service. Worcester does indeed demonstrate that a 90 minute train ride can attract quite a few passengers on a day to day basis. So if we look at Springfield or FR/NB on that same length or ride, each area has similar populations to Worcester, maybe it would indeed attract larger numbers of daily commuters given available riders and the 90 minute max ride length. I wouldn't do it, but clearly plenty of people would.
 

cubalibre

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There was a 60+ minute heart to hub express option before the pandemic, which may be one reason why it was palatable for some commuters. That option no longer exists and with home office numbers are way down to this day.
 

tysmith95

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Worcester has it's own local economy, it's success is not because of Boston commuters.
 

Riverside

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There was a 60+ minute heart to hub express option before the pandemic, which may be one reason why it was palatable for some commuters. That option no longer exists and with home office numbers are way down to this day.
Yes but it was just that one train in each direction, and it had only been around for a couple of years. I don't think we can attribute too much growth and development in Worcester to the Heart-to-Hub train.
 

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