Because the State will miss its legal deadline to open the Green Line Extension in 2014, it’s obligated to implement additional projects that will provide equivalent clean air benefits until the Green Line does open. These interim offset projects need to reduce emissions at least as much as the Green Line will, be implemented by the end of 2014, and happen in the same “transit ridership area” as the Extension.
The MBTA has published its list of potential projects, including:
- More Green Line trains going to Lechmere
- Possible commuter rail stops at Union, Gilman, and Ball Squares [very bad idea]
- Increases in bus service on various routes in Somerville
- Potential car policies such as Zipcar subsidies and Clean Cabs
- Bikesharing programs and increased bike/pedestrian lanes, including the Community Path (!)
- Technology improvements such as electric vehicle charging stations and commuter rail engine upgrades
- Free or discounted Charlie Card passes for area residents
- Plus various other ideas that don’t even serve Somerville
Given the huge air quality benefits of the Green Line Extension, it’s going to take a lot to make up for the delay.
These ideas will be fully evaluated by MassDOT and others. Send them your feedback via email@example.com by July 16.
Download the cover memo and matrix of ideas.
Medford Patch: “MBTA Proposes Interim Plans in Lieu of Green Line Extension”