Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Could the cookie be crumbling?


Yes, you’re correct.  Your correspondent has been derelict in keeping up a decent posting tempo.

Such is the curse of being an aged observer of issues and events which hold less and less interest as the years advance.  Not to mention a growing sense of futility as to the value of posting opinions on these items.

Oh well, enough whining for now.


We’re here tonight to pass along the latest step forward in public transit, which if local authorities have any sense, should be a cause for concern.  Especially as it relates to Brunswick.

We refer to this fresh article in The Forecaster:


If you want a perfect example of the difference between passenger rail and passenger coach service, especially as to how long and how much it takes to get service underway, it’s all right there in plain sight.  Especially if you’ve followed our reports and comments over the years.

We couldn't help but think of this item we penned elsewhere in May:

The First Law of Public Surface Transportation:

There is nothing passenger rail can do that contemporary Motor Coaches can't
do more immediately, more economically, more flexibly, more cleanly,
more efficiently, more effectively, more safely, more reliably, with vastly superior
point to point service, and with little or no front end investment, no need
for new infrastructure, and no need for government

Take a look at the number of stops, the frequency of trips, and the costs mentioned in the article.


Then consider this passage:

"METRO General Manager Greg Jordan said Brunswick may be added to the service by next summer, with discussions taking place over the next year. METRO had extended the offer to Brunswick in 2014, but the Town Council and Town Manager had concerns about the cost."

Concerns about cost?  Oh sure!  What about the 80-100K we put into ‘Departure Center’ operations for the Downeaster?  And the various hidden costs associated with TIFs, Brunswick Taxi, and who knows what all, including the failure by JHR to build out the Station complex?

The real concern the council and TM should have, we might suggest, is the embarrassment this commuter bus service will expose them to for joining the ‘All Aboard Brunswick’ foamers in going ga-ga over the Downeaster, which has failed to deliver on even one projected benefit to our local economy.  Unless you're a retired Ambassador and his wife.


When some actual ridership and public response data for the Metro begin to accumulate and surface, we expect there to be a good deal of growth in the egg-wash business in town.

Maybe someone will build a face-cleansing business over at “Brunswick Landing.”  Or make use of the vacant space in the Maine Street Station.  Once locals become fans of convenient buses, should service be extended here, that space should be a fine location for a “Facial Spa.” 

Proximity to the Brunswick Town Hall should provide a steady supply of ‘walk-in’ customers.

PS:  If you happened to attend the special performance at MSMT last night featuring their performance interns in a production called “A Grand Night for Singing,” you enjoyed a very special treat.  They were all brilliant, and the special ticket prices made the show all the more incredible.

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