“In Somerville, they want to catch trolley” reports that about 500 residents gathered for the October 27 meeting at Somerville High School, in an effort to convince the MBTA of Somerville’s need for better transportation. Keep reading for quotes from the article.
“It’s worthy of consideration, but the Green Line extension doesn’t appear to be in the same class,” said Stephen Burrington, undersecretary in the Office of Commonwealth Development.
That kind of talk drives Somerville transit boosters batty.
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Better bus service or bus rapid transit is being studied among nine possible alternatives for the Somerville project, said Dennis DiZoglio, T planning director.
A Green Line extension north through the east side of Somerville would primarily use existing rights-of-way and share the commuter-rail track bed most of the way. The estimated cost of $375 million is “a planning number,” said DiZoglio, although Zamore said the cost is probably more like $500 million.
The T does not have estimates for how many people would ride the extended line. About 5,400 people board at Lechmere on an average weekday, and total Green Line ridership is 225,000, the most of any of the subway lines.
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Capuano added that he was surprised to hear Burrington’s comments about the Urban Ring being a higher priority, since the state has already told the Federal Transit Administration that extending the Green Line and the Blue Line to Lynn were next in line.
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The Green Line project has the advantage of being one of the projects the state promised to build in 1990, Capuano and others pointed out, as part of an agreement with environmental advocates that paved the way for the Big Dig. The Green Line extension is supposed to be done by 2011.
That agreement is tied to federally monitored clean-air goals, and the state is obliged to build the projects it promised to build to get cars off the roads, Zamore said. “The state can’t unilaterally change them,” he said.