mbrproductions wrote: ↑Sat Oct 08, 2022 2:21 pmIt brings the people using it today to their offices in the morning and back home in the afternoon, I'm not sure what more you are expecting from a rail system. And yes, it does not serve others at all, that is just a reality that always exists in transit, no matter what type, how frequent or high quality it is, there are people who's needs it does not serve, and is not intended to serve.
Most of the MBTA rail system, except for the Old Colony lines can and should be true regional rail, not just commuter service like it's 1985. It could serve a lot more people's needs with frequent and fast electrified service.
What I was trying to say was that if the rate that Amtrak charges the MBTA to use their power causes the operating costs to be increased then it would not be a good move for the MBTA.
That's not at all what you said, BUT if Amtrak is jacking up the price of electricity by a factor of several times, then that problem needs to be dealt with, not just give up and go "meh, we can't be bothered, keep guzzling diesel fuel".
Alright then, sounds great! But what is your source for it being significantly cheaper?
Have you looked at the price of diesel lately? It's not $0.89 anymore. Accounting for the efficiency of diesel engines, diesel costs several times more than electricity on a per unit basis. I don't know what the per kwh cost of electricity is in bulk, and how that compares to retail pricing after the infrastructure is accounted for, but it's certainly a fraction of what diesel costs.
If by "lack of density" you mean housing density then that is something that is predominant around the entire system, this is why Rapid Transit-like service doesn't make sense on Commuter Rail, most of the towns and cities that it serves do not have the density for it to be viable, and the people living in those towns will fight to the death to keep it that way. As a result, most stations are located outside the town centers and have pretty much nothing other than a colossal park and ride lot next to them.
Providence-Stoughton and Worcester have a lot of density. And yes, NIMBYs need to be dealt with everywhere for everything. We need laws to upzone everything within half a mile of a station for TOD.
MattW wrote: ↑Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:14 amIf you want to look at "profit" and make comparisons to "business" then you're looking at the wrong business. The commuter rail shouldn't be taken to be the business, but the entire state or region should be.
That's a great way of thinking of it and framing it in a way that maximized the public benefit of public money spent, even though a direct profit isn't the end goal.