Green Line

Green Line
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Two big transit projects had a $1 billion price increase. But only the Green Line was put on hold.

When the Green Line Extension estimate suddenly rose by $1 billion, the State immediately put the project on hold, seriously considered canceling it, and then greatly simplified it. But when another project, South Coast rail, not legally required, suddenly saw a $1 billion price increase, guess what? The State simply assured the public they would still complete this project, no problem.

This contradiction hardly seems fair to the Green Line.

“What South Coast rail has – and doesn’t have – in common with the Green Line extension” (Boston.com)

“Two long-awaited rail projects in different parts of the state saw their projected budgets increase by $1 billion or more inside the last year. But the state’s reaction to each has been very different.

The Green Line extension is projected to carry about 49,000 rides per day, according to state projections. South Coast rail is projected to create about 9,000.”

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A little more funding keeps the Green Line moving forward

T board OKs $15m more for Green Line ext.” (CommonWealth Magazine)

“[T]he T has spent $4.5 million of a $6 million authorization and needs up to $15 million more to move ahead with developing specifications for a future construction contract….Federal officials are coming into town this week for meetings where they are expected to say how they view the T’s redesign. He said the T should have a much better handle on whether the federal government will provide the $1 billion after those meetings.”

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Now Somerville has to find $50 million for the Green Line

“How will Cambridge and Somerville pay for the Green Line extension, anyway?” (Boston.com)

“In Somerville, Curtatone has described the planned $50 million contribution as ‘frustrating’ but ‘necessary.’ State Rep. Denise Provost compared state transportation leaders to ‘Somali pirates’ because of the municipal funding requirement. And while aldermen have said they will likely approve the spending, they have done so begrudgingly.”

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Green Line contracting method not a panacea

“T contracting process for Green Line isn’t a sure bet” (Boston Globe)

“As the agency now continues to debate a $2.3 billion Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford, consultants hired by the MBTA say it should again use that contracting method – called design-build – to construct a new, scaled-down version of the project….

In the design-build model, firms join to bid on the project and work together throughout the process. Some prefer the process because it can speed up construction and allows the companies to catch cost overruns and design problems.”

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New Green Line plan gets support from key federal official

Good news: the Federal Transit Administration’s regional administrator has expressed support for the scaled-down version of the Green Line Extension that the state has tentatively approved. This is critical, since the project won’t move forward without FTA approval and the $1 billion in federal funds previously promised.

“Key federal official supports redesigned Green Line project” (Boston Globe)

“Mary Beth Mello, the Federal Transit Administration’s regional administrator, also said that the federal government needs to thoroughly evaluate the details of the plan before it can give the official green light….The FTA ‘must have every confidence the MBTA can deliver the entire scope of the redesigned GLX within the specified budget and schedule,’ Mello wrote.”

Read the full letter.

“Federal Transit Official Offers Boost To Redesigned Green Line Extension” (WBUR)

“Though the words of support from the FTA are preliminary, Mello in her letter dated May 20 said she ‘commend[s] the [interim project management team] for its diligence and extraordinary efforts to revive the Green Line Extension in the face of your fiscal challenges. We look forward to working with you to see the GLX through to completion.'”

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Capuano: Cities should pitch in for future transportation improvements

“After Green Line extension, Mass. needs a new policy” (Boston Globe opinion)

“When the Commonwealth makes a significant investment that will benefit one or two communities more than the state as a whole, it is fair to ask them to contribute….This approach, however, should not begin and end with the Green Line extension. When the state expands our transportation system by building a new off-ramp, widening a road in a congested community, or increasing parking at a commuter rail station, that effort benefits specific communities, and they should be expected to contribute.” – US Representative Michael Capuano

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Scout Somerville remembers our environmental struggles

“Before The GLX, There Was I-93″

“When they did the studies for I-93, they knew that the lead would go up by a factor of four in the neighborhoods along I-93, to way above any reasonable level,” says Wig Zamore, who works with STEP to advocate for air quality issues. By the time it was built, the state was moving funds away from highways and into public transit. But federal money had already been committed, so officials pressed on with the construction of I-93.

“Boston and Cambridge remember [the time] as a watershed, positive event,” says Zamore. “In Somerville they had already gotten some commitment of federal funds, and the state decided to go ahead with I-93 notwithstanding the studies that showed it to be detrimental.”

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A better alternative for the Community Path

Are you as concerned as we are by the state’s ideas for a cheaper Community Path? The smart people at Friends of the Community Path have some great ideas for a better alternative that still brings down the cost.

View their proposal and also check out their budget.

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T4MASS on why the Green Line is critical to our future

“GLX and Statewide Vision”

“The real choice is not between maintenance and expansion, but whether or not we will make the comprehensive investments needed to secure our future….What we can afford today is just not sufficient for the state’s future. We – all of us – are building our legacy, and it is past time for a unifying vision of transportation that will meet our needs, supported by the commitment and the funding to make this vision a reality.”

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What would a barebones Green Line station look like?

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“What a scaled-down Green Line extension would look like” (Boston.com)

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