Commuter Rail in NH Is a Fools Errand

by Steve MacDonald

I don’t typically link to the Concord Fish Wrapper, but this is worth the trip.

I am a retired highway engineer and transportation planner with more than 36 years of experience in eight states and Washington, D.C. My opinions are based on experience, 42 years of transportation policy observations and objective study of publicly available information.

Passenger rail in New Hampshire is a fool’s errand. It has a near zero chance of solving any transportation problems and a near 100 percent chance of burdening the state with significant and continuing debt with insignificant or no offsetting benefits.

According to a study by the Federal Transit Administration, “Urban rail transit investments rarely create new growth but more typically redistribute growth that would have taken place without the investment.” Due to extremely low train ridership, it is unlikely train stations, or the cities that contain them, would be magnets for any kind of development, including “transit-oriented development.”

Thank you Mr. Lemieux.

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