Ridgefielder wrote: ↑Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:31 pm
I lived in Manhattan for 16 years. I didn't own a car. During that time I probably took hundreds of trips on local, regional and long distance trains. I don't think it ever even occurred to me to walk to Grand Central or Penn Station with my luggage to catch a train-- even though I could reach GCT in a ~20min on foot. Similarly I don't recall arriving in Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Albany-Rensselaer, Chicago, etc. and being annoyed that I couldn't walk from the station to my hotel.
I think the focus with Portland should be improving the operational efficiency of the station itself. Being within a pleasant walk of downtown is a secondary consideration. After all there are plenty of legitimate big city stations that are off on the edge of the central business district: 30th Street, Philadelphia comes to mind.
thousands upon thousands of people walk to penn station and grand central. for short routes like the downeaster or hiawatha people often make the trip frequently and without much luggage.
albany is a terrible location as well and is just one more reason why the train is not competitive. I do appreciate that DC is easy to get to capitol hill but when it comes to going to VA I opt for driving since there is no easy way to get to VA from union station. I do often walk to my hotel from south station and it's also convenient to the business district. As development around 30th st has increased, station utilization has improved but for commuter rail suburban station is by far the busiests station because it is walking distance to more jobs than any other station.
it is true, the US is full of stations in poor locations with suboptimal ridership often dating from a time when costs were being cut or track space being repurprosed. that isn't a good reason to continue to have a poor station site. nobody is talking about ending the downeaster in haverhill instead of north station or the NEC trains end at Route 128 instead of south station.
chicago has been another underperformer but as development near the station has increased so has ridership.
why would you take the train from brunswick if you still need to pay for a taxi? why not just drive? coming from the nec transfer twice and and up on the wrong side of town or just take the bus.