We only get one Big Dig, state declares: MassDOT and the board that now runs the T agreed today that they're not going to pay any more for the Green Line Extension than the state's already committed to, so if the project's costs can't be shrunk by a billion dollars or so, it's dead, unless "other sources" come up with the extra money, and by "other sources" they mean cities that really want the thing (both of them), landowners and developers that would benefit from being right on the proposed line.
T workers managed to dispose of the carcass of a trolley that died at Cleveland Circle earlier this morning, but now there are signal issues at Copley jamming up the works.
The state announced today it's canceling all its contracts with the major contractors on the Green Line Extension through Somerville and Medford and will try to re-bid the project.
The project is not completely dead yet, however: Some construction work will continue and the emergency board that now runs the T is appointing an interim project manager to try to pick up the pieces and get the Green Line to somehow run north of Lechmere one of these years. Read more.
Boston Magazine reports on a meeting today of the MassDOT and MBTA fiscal control boards at which consultants urged officials to toss the current bid, which has ballooned in cost and seek new bids for a system with smaller stations, a more modest trolley-repair facility and a different track alignment.
UPDATE, 10 a.m. Bhaiwala has set her report to "friends only."
UPDATE, 8:35 a.m.: A Transit Police spokesman says: "We have attempted to reach out to her but have not, as of this correspondence, received a reply."
Zahra Bhaiwala, who is studying health economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, reports she was on her way from class to work on the Green Line today when the trolley entered Copley and some guy she says had been eyeing her since Longwood started yelling that she had a bomb in the black bag she was carrying:
"Copley is next! Thatâ€™s the best place for them to do an attack!â€ť Followed by â€śWomen are doing it too now, donâ€™t you see the news?â€ť
4 or 5 angry men had now gathered around me and I showed them my Harvard and Genzyme IDs and opened up the bag to show them my computers. They nodded their heads and backed away slowly. No one in the car said anything to the man, who refused to come with me to the MBTA office and also refused to apologize. None of the 5 men apologized either, which is more upsetting.
Trolley past its expiration date at Kenmore is causing problems for riders who for some reason insist on heading downtown; train that had to be taken out and put out of its misery at Downtown Crossing causing problems for riders who for some reason insist on heading north instead of south.
UPDATE: Signals died, outbound riders sighed, on the Green Line at Copley.
An E Line trolley gave up the ghost at MFA, a Red Line train went express to Valhalla on the Braintree branch and an Orange Line train turned blue at Green. Or as MBTA Haiku put it:
Kicks off with a delayed train.
Cyber Monday gift.
Passengers of the Green and Orange Line's "super station" at North Station have an underground walkway that exits immediately adjacent to the TD North Garden and the North Station commuter rail concourse. People are only exposed to the elements for about 50 feet or so when making this transition.
However the MBTA has quietly announced that this portal which runs under Causeway Street is closing on January 2 to accommodate construction of the new development next to TD North which is now a parking lot, and the former footprint of the original Boston Garden. Read more.
Johnmcboston wonders why the MBTA is running single-car trolleys on Black Friday.
David Harris captured the uneasy standoff at a T stop in Brookline this morning.
What the T describes as "minor" delays inbound on the D Line has turned into a 20-25-minute wait, Suzannishly reports.
The MBTA has released what it says are the actual votes by people who care about the paint schemes for new cars on the Red and Orange Lines, and this time, they say, people voted for the same basic scheme for both, just in different colors, for the cars, which could be in service in a few years. Read more.
UPDATE: The Globe reports it's Florida all over again: The T has put the vote into abeyance until it can examine apparent voting irregularities.
Well, actually three winners. The MBTA has selected the final paint schemes for the new Green, Orange, and Red Line cars:
About 50 Northeastern students protesting in support of higher wages for both adjunct professors and people who make the minimum wage blocked the E Line at Forsyth Street for several speeches and chants this afternoon. Read more.
to run the E line, they seem to have the darndest trouble. The latest issue, as per this T alert:
Green Line E branch service suspended between Prudential and Heath Street in both directions due to demonstrators blocking the tracks. Use Route 39 for service between Prudential and Heath Street.
As a point of comparison, MassDOT didn't detour traffic off of I-93 at exits when the Somerville 17 blocked it. They let the police move the protesters off the highway instead. Too bad the MBTA apparently doesn't have the common sense to do similar here.
Some T riders read, some snooze and some stitch. Lovekoan shows us the dish cloth she's working on as she rides the Green Line and wonders what other T stitchers are working on.
UPDATE: Some lines not affected by the signal problems are late because of the dreaded slippery rail.
The T is reporting delays on trains from the south due to Amtrak signal problems. And trains that would normally stop at Ruggles just aren't.
Also, trains decided it was Judgment Day on the Green and Red Lines and so gave up the ghost.