So, here we go again. Another State of the State, another promise about commuter rail to the South Coast.

In his final State of the State address before facing re-election this Fall, Governor Charlie Baker made the following pledge;

“After more than three decades of lip service, we’re going to make commuter rail from Fall River and New Bedford to Boston a reality."

Sorry, Charlie but, we've heard that one before.

Almost five years ago to the day the old snake oil salesman Deval Patrick promised a $1.8 billion dollar investment in the rail project that was going to result in some 38 hundred jobs and generate $500 million dollars in new economic activity statewide annually.

“Opportunity is too important to leave to chance, but opportunity requires growth and growth requires investment.  We have made a commitment to bring commuter rail to the South Coast because we know this will unlock new economic development opportunities while delivering a reliable transit choice for commuters with huge environmental benefits.”

 

Yawn. Sorry, Deval. Been there, done that.

In February 1992, Governor Bill Weld promised the train too;

“Sue me if it doesn’t happen.”

His successor, Paul Cellucci promised a train in 1999 and Acting Governor Jane Swift did as well in 2001.

In March of 2005, Governor Mitt Romney promised $670 million dollars for the train project. Ole Mitt said we'd be "all aboard" within 6 to 8 years. CHOO CHOO!

So, pardon my skepticism, Charlie.

Governor Baker's plan is for a route through Middleboro which almost no one wants.  The Stoughton route is no longer an option.

Given that no one really wants a train that goes through Middleboro why waste the money? Give us the cash to spend on things we really want and need. Like a new bridge. That would make more sense.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon-3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.