Thinking ahead

November 6, 2008

Ridership  is up, and the  ticket prices are going up too.The Empire Service, which runs between New York City, Albany and other upstate New York destinations, served 994,293 passengers, up 4 percent, and recorded $41 million in revenue, up 6.5 percent. Finally, ridership on the Portland, Maine-to-Boston Downeaster skyrocketed 31 percent to 474,492 and revenue shot up 36.7 percent to $5.8 million.

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article.asp?id=18251

Here is the news on the  proposed fare increase

http://downeastriders.us/blog/

So, it’s a success. There is however a continuing issue with parking. There simply is not enough parking. I remember at the initial planning additional  land was in play . It  would seem the deal did not go through. This land was at the end of the lot. Parking should have been a larger part of the overall plan. The issue will not go away. Business owners  on Lincoln Street  have expressed to me concerns about  commuters using Lincoln Street all day. This came up many months ago and I spoke to  Bob Eastman. I understood additional signage with restrictions were put in place. It does not seem to be working. I think  in the short term  the owner of the defunct bank should be approached for additional parking. That building is going nowhere  this Winter. If there are parking rules in place they should be enforced. Lincoln Street  is a  busy shopping area all day long.  The  business owners should be able to  count on  short term parking for their customers.

The Train Station needs a parking garage, this is not  an over the top suggestion. This should be brought forward to the  people that can get it done.  The  Town would definitely be contributing to solving regional transportation issues with a garage. These are prefab structures  and go up very fast. The  hospital garage went up in a week.

Mike

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