Picknelly's firm is subsidized by the government far more than AMTRAK because the state pays for the roads. It's not efficient at all but, in fact, massively inefficient because we have to pay 100% of their biggest cost. He's been wallowing at the public trough every day he's been in business.
- promoted by Bob_Neer
“Listen, I run a bus company. We run an efficient bus company that’s headquartered in Springfield, Mass. When you’re looking at publicly subsidized rail service it absolutely can have an impact on our business.”
–Peter Picknelly, CEO Peter Pan Bus Company
Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts, has enjoyed popularity ratings inversely proportional to those of Donald Trump. He’s easily the most popular governor in the United States.
Peter Picknelly, the owner of Peter Pan Bus Lines, is a good business man: he donates to both Republicans and Democrats; he donates to philanthropic causes; and he does his best to boost the down-and-out City of Springfield.
Then candidate Charlie Baker greets Peter Pan Bus Lines owner at a Springfield fundraiser that the businessman held for Baker
Put them together and what do you get?
A transparently, politically cheap move to keep the public good ignorant of the potential benefits of east-west rail service.
Dan Glaun of Masslive has an outstanding, well-researched article on the subject:
Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser’s push to study expanded east-west rail service is facing pushback from Peter Picknelly, the Springfield business leader whose Peter Pan bus company is currently the main provider of mass transit from Springfield to Boston.
Lesser’s (D-Longmeadow) proposal to launch a feasibility study of building higher speed rail across the state won approval from the legislature during budget votes in May and June. But on July 8, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker used his veto powers to amend the measure, changing it from a formal study to a working group that would study bus improvements and other transit options as well.
Two days before Gov. Baker’s veto, Picknelly, a major Springfield employer, philanthropist and state-wide political donor, sent an email to Baker and legislators urging Baker to reject Lesser’s proposal.
In the email, obtained by MassLive, Picknelly describes the proposal as redundant of other ongoing rail studies in the northeast, and argued any study should examine other forms of transport. Rail is expensive and would be no faster than his bus service, he argued.
“I am always disappointed that proposed studies like this only include rail, and never seem to take a comprehensive look at all modes of transportation,” Picknelly wrote. “A balanced approach to transportation would look at a number of alternatives, such as HOV lanes and express bus services.”
But he also cited the threat that an East-West rail line from Springfield to Boston posed to his business.
“I simply can’t see the point of spending huge amounts of taxpayer dollars for this kind of rail service, which would adversely impact Peter Pan, an 80-year old, tax-paying business that provides first-class service between Springfield and Boston, and which would also affect the hundreds of good union jobs Peter Pan provides to Western MA area employees,” Picknelly wrote.