Gov. Patrick rolls out a plan to get commuter rail to Fall River and New Bedford by 2016. That’s a fine idea, and one that Tim Murray, Chris Gabrieli and seemingly everyone else talked about in the campaign. The New Bedford mayor compares it to landing the Olympics. (For him, it’s actually better than that — Olympics often end up being an economic wash.)
It also will cost $1.2 billion. In the face of the $19 Billion shortfall in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years — just to keep the stuff we’ve already got — I’m skeptical. Patrick hasn’t rolled out his plans for funding the new line, only proposed money for financing the design. Not only that, there’s some question as to whether the MBTA can afford to expand and keep up its current lines.
I don’t know … sounds like good intentions, but not much else yet. I’ll be interested to see the full funding proposals. Patrick boldly says “Hold us to it. Hold us to it.” I’ve said I didn’t expect Patrick to be a miracle-worker … maybe he’s got a magic wand we don’t know about.