Nashua Alderman Vote Unanimously to Spend Other People’s Money

by Steve MacDonald

Is Rail a wasteful proposition?A Rhode Island Company has convinced the city of Nashua to spend your money.

According to NHPR’s incorrectly named article “Nashua Alderman Unanimously Approve Commuter Rail Memorandum,”

The Tuesday night unanimous approval of the memorandum of understanding means the city can begin work immediately with the Rhode Island-based Boston Surface Railroad Co to create a detailed plan.

I spoke at length about the proposed passenger rail service on Girard at Large a few weeks ago, and how it gets its infrastructure funding.

I should note that it may not be NHPR that is at fault. I haven’t seen the memo, so maybe the memo has “commuter rail ” in the title, but that would only add another untruth to the tale.

For those with short memories that are not Democrats or Medicaid Expanding Republicans (who don’t care about the truth) when they say-

“Nashua is not liable for any of the funding for the service, though it will assist Boston Surface in looking for grants and federal loans.”

-That means tax dollars are still paying for any infrastructure improvements. In fact, the entire exercise is not possible without the taxpayer money.

So what happens when the proposed progressive-kitsch for-profit boutique passenger rail service from Rhode Island, up through Lowell and into Nashua New Hampshire turns out to be a non-profit service, as will most likely be the case?

Someone has to pay for the upkeep of the rail infrastructure, staff, their benefits, property taxes, other operating expenses, and most importantly the train station in Nashua?

I’ll give you a hint. It probably sounds a lot like “Taxpayers in Nashua.”

Unless, of course, the train fetishists find a way to use this to shove “commuter rail” up the Manchester-Concord corridor. Then it will become the State of New Hampshire’s perennial budget pinching riderless money pit.


Leave a Comment

  • roger

    shocker public transportation is subsidized by tax payers? But at least they are trying to get federal money to set it afloat. You know the same federal money that goes to help built the roads highways and bridges you drive on everyday? Apparently you are just anti anything that isn’t a road? No one is being misled here, nashua isn’t paying for this.

    Skip, Steve, GG can either of you gander a guess how much the tax pier subsidizes those roads?

    or does small government mean we should all drive on dirt roads everyday? Help me out.

    • granitegrok

      With a multi-billion dollar pension plan that is underwater and red flagged bridges that solons have been kvetching about for years and now Medicaid Expansion coming home to roost (and let’s not forget about the $20 Trillion national debt), it certainly doesn’t feel like anyone in charge has any sense of fiscal responsibility and prioritization?

      And not to mention that the Down’Easter already needs gobs of subsidies to operate. THAT’s the slippery slope end – a constant money flush for a rather few riders. The really few, that is.

      Trains/subways ONLY work in rather dense areas like NYC and Boston and even then, they don’t pay for themselves (e.g., high union wages in Boston – my brother-in-law did his 20 and the pension is unbelievable).

      • roger

        You’re ignoring my question.

        • Ed Naile

          There were five question marks.
          Are you confused again?

          • roger

            Ed GG is ignoring the question that disproves the thesis of the article. Yes the commuter rail will likely cost tax Payers money. However taxpayers fund about 50% of road costs. So I don’t really see the difference.

          • Ed Naile

            Good, you don’t see the difference.
            You fail to see lots of things.
            Hence, your questions would not be very enlightening.

          • roger

            Ed there is no difference. Why should taxpayers money so they go to find a road construction which is notoriously bad for the environment and creates more congestion and giant people movers which are far more efficient and necessary?

            Take your unwillingness to debate this one as a victory for me, because at you are never at a loss for words.

            Edit: ed why would I expect you to see the difference you can’t even see the difference between resident domiciled in the state.

          • Ed Naile

            In your mind you’re right again.
            What a track record.

      • roger

        GG has you ever been on the Down Easter?

        I have many times and it’s always sold out. So wrong on that count. The ridership numbers are easily found online.

        Also you don’t consider the Manchester to Lowell corridor to be densely populated? The CEO of Surface Rail has done the numbers and thinks the project can attract enough ridership.

        But I’ll do you one better, meet me at the dunkins in bedford when I leave for work tomorrow morning at 6AM and you can see for yourself the traffic we’re talking about here. I’ll even buy you a coffee.

        There is a need for this, yes it’s probablly gonna cost some tax payer money. But the billions spent on 93 won’t come close to the cost of this.

        • granitegrok

          The Downeaster’s (which runs from Maine through NH to Mass) parent, Amtrak run on huge taxpayer subsidies. Like this (US DOT data from Jan 2011):

          Train Fare / Per
          City State Name Occupancy Trip Trip

          Portland ME Downeaster 19.6% $14.07 $19.49

          Gotta love that overall Occupancy rate. I have updated numbers and will post them.

          If he has really done the numbers, and is STILL asking for taxpayer monies (local, State, Federal) then it ISN’T profitable as a standalone business – he’s rent-seeking.

          Face it, we are a car-centric country and I see nothing wrong with that. But with numbers like those, it’s a loser.

          • roger

            Sorry if I don’t take your journalism as exactly unbiased facts. Not to mention you don’t actually cite a source for your cute little table.

            You only gave one city on the entire line? Hmmmmm wonder why. Because as usual your wrong. Ridership has increased across the board on the north east corridor and all of Amtrak for that matter. I’ve provided statistics to prove my point as far as the northeast corridor.

            Here’s a link which states that ridership set another record in 2016.

            So we have record ridership on the down Easter. However I learned in eighth grade composition it’s important to cite more than one source.

            So, Here’s a press release from Amtrak stating record ridership and record revenue for 2016.

            But to be Fair Amtrak states that data is Unaudited, here is a fact sheet from the national passenger rail road association for the Northeast Corridor.

            You notice that the majority of the services show an upward trend in the last five years.

            So if your assertion that we are a car centric society is not incorrect, but does not tell the full story which is that while we are car centric…attitude and ridership on passenger rail have increased year over year for the past five years.

            As such it would stand to reason that perhaps Mr Bono may be on to something.

          • granitegrok
          • roger

            anti planner…wow. Light rails is not the same as this GG. This is using exciting freight lines. Why can’t you think critically?! It breaks my heart.

        • granitegrok

          I used to drive from Gilford to Worcester and from Gilford to Boston’s financial district every day. I know what the traffic is at rush hour from the North and also from the South (grew up on the South Shore). Appreciate the offer, but no, not getting up that early to drive an hour down to Bedford and then back in time for work.

          • roger

            The offer is open anytime… not sure how long ago you did it but maybe more recent data would help provide some context for you.

        • granitegrok

          No, I’ve not been on it – too long of a drive to get there and having lived in Boston for 7 years, I have no urge to return. Nice city, have relatives there in Southie, walkable. But the T stank (literally) and hated waiting an hour in the snow for a Green Line only to later find out it broke down.

          No, not a fan of mass transit and certainly not ones that can’t support themselves.

          • roger

            Not a fan of mass transit…well there’s the bias. Would be nice if you would at least pretend you were completely slanted with your face down on the cement of the right hand side walk.

        • granitegrok

          So what is the cost for each on a per person mile, all loaded

    • granitegrok

      Nashua has to provide the station – that will cost monies. And a lot of the loans / grants need matching funds – that’s more money

      • roger

        Nothing I’ve read and I’ve read a lot of the subject says that Nashua is responsible for providing a station. But then again lets say they do that’s analog us to an airport, or exit ramps on highways that you love so much.

        • Radical Moderate

          Bad analogy. Everyone can use the roadways from their doorway right to their destination. You can’t say the same of passenger trains. You don’t have to pay a fare for each person traveling in your vehicle(though I’m sure their trying to figure out a way to do that), you can’t say the same for passenger trains.
          Cars are more economical on a singular basis, you can’t say the same for passenger trains.
          I can use the roadways to load up a truck with goods and use the roads to and make money, you can’t say the same for passenger trains.

          • roger

            Not everyone can use roadways, many people don’t own cars or are unable to drive or simply don’t want to pay the costs of ownership.

            Yes you don’t have to pay a fair for each person but you do pay gas taxes and excise taxes on the whole car.

            Cars are not more economical, and they are much more harmful to the environment.

            These trains serve a specific purpose and to ty to compare them exactly to roads is just stupid. They are for commuters and tourists. You can put a 1000 people on one of these triad and send them down the road, that’s a 1000 less cars burning gas, polluting the air and cussing congestion.

            You can use use trains to transfer goods.

            Think critically dude

          • Radical Moderate

            “to try to compare them exactly to roads is just stupid”
            I was responding to your analogy of roads being subsidized.
            “to an airport, or exit ramps on highways”
            I don’t know how much more critical I can think when I directly responded to a comparison YOU made in one of YOUR posts.

          • roger

            I compared the station being built in Nashua to an airport or exit ramp. That’s was pretty clear.

            I’ll make it simple, my point is: Roads are subsidized so should trainn.

          • Radical Moderate

            I understood what you said Roger. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that a taxpayer gets more “bang for their buck” with roadways than with passenger rail.
            Also…as you admitted; “Not everyone can use roadways, many people don’t own cars or are unable to drive or simply don’t want to pay the costs of ownership.” That is true, I am not being forced to SUBSIDIZE them because those people using the roadways. You are however being forced to subsidize them if they use passenger rail.


      News bulletin to Roger, the source of all federal money is tax revenue which comes out of the pockets of taxpayers who earned it thru wages, savings or investments. With regard to the racism angle, after reading and re-reading “the best and brightest” line, I can see where someone might view it as having racial implications, even if that was not what RM intended. Keep in mind that NH is one of the “whitest” states in America and if the intent of this rail effort is to get people out of their cars (i.e. those who commute to the Boston area), that racial makeup would most likely be reflected in the potential ridership.

      • roger

        Thank you, I understand how taxes work. I appreciate the support.


          Ack, I got the sense you had a firm grasp of tax revenue, but in my many years of life, I have run into numerous people who seem to regard government funds as coming from that fabulous “Pot Of Gold” which never runs out, and when you couple that with politicians who never met a spending bill they didn’t like, which is why our country is 20 trillion dollars in debt.

      • Radical Moderate

        “With regard to the racism angle, after reading and re-reading “the best and brightest” line, I can see where someone might view it as having racial implications, even if that was not what RM intended.”
        – It may be me GGC, maybe I didn’t have enough coffee today, but I really don’t get how the two can possibly connected. It seems to me at least that seeing that type of connection says more about the mindset of the reader than it says about the mindset of the writer. I really just don’t get it.

    • I get that taxes are used to build roads but no one is pretending they are a for-profit privately funded enterprise.

      • And what do you have against dirt roads?

  • Radical Moderate

    Nashua does not have a right to make a decision that will affect the quality of life for all the residents of the state of New Hampshire.
    Having a direct line to Massachusetts is like allowing a sewerage pipeline to drain from there right into Newfound lake. Despite what the NH business community and Progressives are telling the public, It will not be the best and brightest or the Millennials that will be the ones using this form of cheap subsidized transportation.
    Call your Reps and tell them to do what they can to stop Nashua from destroying our state.

    • roger

      Wow dude you racism is showing. Go Move down south.

      • granitegrok

        Make another statement like that and I will ban you. Understood?

        • roger

          So referring to a line to Lowell as a sewage pipeline stating the “best and brightest” won’t come up isn’t racist?

          I get crapped on in this sub weekly and you sit by idelly but this man insults a city I partially grew up in and literally quotes a trump campaign term that’s been universally
          accepted as racist and your taking out the ban hammer?

      • Radical Moderate

        Where did I bring up “race”? Can you point it out to me?
        Are you referring to the phrase; not the best and brightest?
        Do you consider those that are not the best and brightest to be solely made up of non-Whites?
        I imagine I could have used the phrase; dregs of society, but who the heck would think someone would consider a commonly used phrase as racist, but then again the Left has gone off the deep end and would read race in a potted plant these days.

        • roger

          Sewage line, best and brightest. Your saying poor people will come up here and stariscally poor people are minority’s.

          Minority’s don’t need a train to come here they can drive just fine and spend their tourist dollars.

          I lived in Lowell and upon offend me by calling a train to it a sewage line. I’d like an apology now.

          • Radical Moderate

            “Sewage line, best and brightest. Your saying poor people will come up here and statistically poor people are minority’s.”
            That’s the longest stretch I’ve seen on this blog in years.
            I’ll tell you exactly what I mean by “sewage” so its perfectly clear. I am referring to social service using, anti-Live Free or Die, expanding government style Progressives. As far as the proposed train connecting with Lowell, the problem unfortunately is the fact that OTHER trains from all OTHER LEFTIST inundated areas will connect to Lowell.
            I don’t know where “minorities” fit into that, but I don’t care if the Leftist scum are polka-dotted with green stripes, I don’t want their influence POLLUTING my New Hampshire, hence my “sewerage pipeline” reference. Comprende balute?

      • granitegrok

        Apologize to Rad Mod

      • Radical Moderate

        “Go Move down south”
        Are you talking about Massachusetts? I could say the same thing to you, after all they already have all the passenger rail you want down there.

    • granitegrok

      Roger (aka has been banned for calling another commenter a racist. When told to apologize, let’s just say he tried to put up a foul comment about me not being his dad.

      If I see him here in another guise, I will ban that ID as well. While I allow, as much as possible, the spirit of Free Speech, I am not going to allow that here in “my house”. I don’t use that kind of language and I expect folks to have “highly determined” speech but I will not allow that tag line of Progressives thrown about for no reason at all.

      • Radical Moderate

        Thank you GG. I respect your decision. In all seriousness I kind of got worried when GGC agreed that what I posted might be considered “racist” so it got me thinking. I feel the need to say that I don’t consider race to be a determining factor of membership to the USA. I do however consider membership to Western Culture a determining factor to the USA. I have been called a racist several times because of that, but I don’t consider it a valid opinion because, those who opposes that viewpoint are just as dangerous as the “Reds” (not the same “Reds” that we considered the “Soviets” pre-wall-fall) who created this entire situation and who took root during the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s tenure. This “cabal” that we called “Reds” were the embryo of the modern day Globalists”
        What most people fail to realize is that this is a battle between our Republic and the push for a Direct Democracy which the Globalists have an easier time steering.
        Just say’in.

        • 175jfs

          Yup. I knew he’d self-destruct. To smart for his own good. Got a cigar Rad?

      • Bill G

        Posting my email is a blatant violation of disqus platform rules. You’ve been reported. Remove my email now. Everyone else enjoys anonymity here? I guess you only out opposing views?

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