Thursday, August 21, 2014

Other Side Alert: BOLO for BBT of TNE

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

We’ve just heard from trusted sources in the transportation sector that an alert is about to be issued for two widely known suspects living on the fringe of this sometimes dark and shadowy sector of our economy.

The alert reads: “Be On the Look Out for Brunswick’s Bobbsey Twins of TrainRiders NorthEast.”  The suspects, code named Emily and Jeff, are known to be belligerent in demeanor, are often spotted making hyperbolic statements at town council meetings and state legislative committee hearings, and are considered irritable.  They’ve also been known to submit angry and accusatory letters to local print media outlets.

      

The alert warns that the suspects can be difficult to identify because of their expertise in disguising their appearance in public settings.

Our sources claim the alert stems from a news story appearing recently in The Ostrich.  Dated August 12th, it was titled “More public input sought on bus service to Freeport,” and was written by Rosanna Gargiulo.

It featured a photo of an odd transit vehicle that looked like the one below, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a ‘bus,’ those big things that operate on the same streets and highway infrastructure used by automobiles, trucks, and other everyday vehicles.

           

Officials are worried that the article may easily elevate the twin’s nominal agitation level to Knickers in Knots, or even worse, Hair on Fire.  Random outbursts driven by their angst could easily cause the two to go ‘off the rails’ in public appearances and media submissions.  Members of the public are advised to keep their distance, and be prepared for unexpected sprinkler system activation in public settings.

                     

TNE officials could not be reached to comment on the threat to civil public discourse posed by Emily and Jeff, but we understand they take the position that the carbon footprint of smoldering hair is less than one nano-% of that from an idling Amtrak diesel locomotive, and therefore is no cause for alarm.

Herewith some highlights of the article, which is structured around Freeport considerations:

A JUNE PILOT PROGRAM concept report from Metro sketched out a route and fares for a Portland North Inter-City bus route that would serve Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth and Freeport.

“Due to the inexpensive nature of (the pilot program), we’ll have a chance to have public transport that’s not the train, for a cheaper fare,” said James Hendricks, chairman on the town council, during a phone interview Monday with The Times Record.

“We don’t really know how it would work, but we’ll get to see if it’s a viable option for Freeport, and it seems like it’s a good deal,” Hendricks said, noting that after the pilot program, the council could decide based on ridership numbers if service should be continued.

A June pilot program concept report from Metro sketched out a route and fares for a Portland North Inter- City bus route that would serve Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth and Freeport.

“With the potential availability of federal grant funding,” the report states, “there is an opportunity to implement a three-year pilot project aimed at demonstrating the potential effectiveness of commuter-oriented transit service along the I-295/Route 1 corridor.”

Aimed at commuters between Freeport and Portland, to proposed bus service would depart at a 30-minute frequency between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and then again between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., for a total of 20 southbound and northbound trips per day.

A zone-based fare structure would mean a ticket from Freeport to Portland would cost $4, from Yarmouth to Portland $3, and Falmouth to Portland $2.

The local investment sought from Freeport for the pilot project is $19,667 for year one, $26,443 for year two and $36,008 for year three — with matching local investments from Yarmouth and Cumberland.

“It’s a good proposal, it’s well thought out and it has a lot of promise,” said Councilor Sarah Tracy, “but my concern is that we’re talking about spending $90,000 over the course of three years, it is not clear in the proposal what need it is serving and we haven’t gotten a lot of public feedback yet.

Kristina Egan, vice chairwoman of the town council, said that she had heard from several constituents who were in favor of expanding public transportation to Freeport.

“I think it’s great to start it as a commuter service because that can attract nonwork trips,” said Egan, noting that her background is in transit planning. “The only thing I would ask for is to see if we can add more midday trips and evening trips to help some of the shift workers” who aren’t working a typical 9 to 5 schedule.

“They’re trying to figure out why we would commit to spending over a five-year program a quarter of a million dollars on a wing and a prayer,” said DeGrandpre. “During budget time, we have argued as a council over $1,000.”

After the initial three-year pilot program, the projected local investment from Freeport would increase to $77,742 for the fourth year and increase again to $80,288 for the fifth year, for a total investment of $240,148. However, Metro stipulated that projections for the fourth and fifth year are not fixed.

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Interestingly, the ‘investment’ in Downeaster service to Freeport and Brunswick, all things considered, including the plans for service ‘optimization,’ are in the range of $100 million, including interest.  NNEPRA also requires perpetual operating subsidies of $2-3 million per year to keep the trains running on the Brunswick extension.  Add to that the $100,000 or so that each town has to cough up to subsidize operations, and you have to wonder about the questioning of bus service expenses.

We contacted our good friend Davis Swain, CEO of the fledgling Bus Riders NorthEast organization, to see what he knew about the alert and the proposed metro bus service.

First, he said his correct title is “Prospective CEO of BRNE,” and we asked why the equivocation.  He told us that processing of the group’s application for 501(c)3 status has inexplicably been delayed at IRS HQ in Washington.  Swain, shown below, said he spent endless hours on the phone trying to find out what’s going on, only to hear excuse after excuse, with no forward progress.

                                       

“Until we get that approval, I can’t call myself the CEO,” Davis told us.   He’s made quite a reputation for himself as the star of numerous fashion photo shoots in OGQ, the well known national magazine.  Self-effacing as ever, he added that ‘looks alone can’t make unreasonable dreams come true.’

At this juncture, we can’t resist a petty personal digression.  We’ve never thought of ourselves as ‘visionary,’ but we do consider that from time to time we merit a “CornerSewer of Common Sense” label.  As proof, we refer you to the posts you’ll find here: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/search?q=piloting+train

We have some other points we’d like to make on this subject, fully aware that doing so may raise the alert level associated with the twins to heights unknown.

For starters, wouldn’t it be the answer to a dream if someone instituted bus service from Portland to Boston, and Brunswick to Portland?  Oh wait….somewhere we read that such a service has been going on for years.  Check.

We hope the twins don’t hear about this, because it could cause them to go trainal.  So don’t tell them about plans to build a bus station at Exit 75 of the Maine Turnpike in Auburn, and to pilot a commuter bus service to Portland and Lewiston.

More importantly, we’d like the twins, and their handlers at TRN, to respond to this simple thesis:

The bus is simply more versatile and cost-effective than the train.  It represents relatively modest vehicle investment, operates on existing public infrastructure, can turn at any intersection, stop anywhere along its route, and provide far greater frequency than a train, with less noxious emissions and attendant noise.  Even more, it requires almost no specialized capital investment, especially when compared to the train.

We’d like as well an answer to this related question:

Why do we need a train to do a bus’s job, and how many buses would fit in a 60,000 sf building?

                       

By now, if the suspects (the twins) are following our report, they’re probably grabbing for emergency breathing apparatus or worse.  We hope they didn’t see the articles we posted earlier today, or their condition could be far worse than we know. 

That said, we know some of our readers support the twins unequivocally, and for you, we offer this ‘cut-out’ play kit.

                       

For the general readership, we have some late breaking news, which can be summarized with this graphic;

                   

Something has clearly set off the alarms at TRNE headquarters, and we don’t know what it is.  When we find out, we’ll let you know.  For now, assume that sprinklers are spraying, various garments are in knots, and all sorts of body hair are aflame.  Witness this broadcast message:

http://www.trainridersne.org/

Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014 19:47
Written by TRN Webmaster

ACTION ALERT!  ACTION ALERT!  ACTION ALERT!

It’s time to add your voice as a Downeaster supporter.

Phone calls are still preferred – [Governor Paul LePage] and simply identify yourself and your town and say that you are calling to have your name added to the list supporting the position of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) to construct the Downeaster Layover Facility in Brunswick on the site authorized by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA).
You can leave the same message for the Commissioner of Transportation, David Bernhardt.

Thanks for whatever you can do.

Wayne Davis, Chairman 
TrainRiders NorthEast

We’re hopeful that Wayne doesn’t run the Downeaster’s central time clock, since the alert appeared in the 4 pm hour, but has a time stamp in the 7 pm hour, beyond the posting time for our commentary.

Ever considerate as we are, in the spirit of civil discourse, we offer these items for Wayne’s use in upcoming missives:

                   

           

We figure it’s the least we could do, other than send a tanker full of kool-aid to TRNE offices to replenish their supply.  And at the same time, warn our protagonists that they need to take care in tiptoeing their way around.

                           

You know the old saying: one man’s tulip is another girl’s stinkweed.

Happy tip-toeing, kiddies!

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1 comment:

  1. The key here is "with the potential for federal grant funding" The typical carrot pressed on the ignorant public. If there was a need and someone could fill it and still make a profit it would be filled.

    ReplyDelete