Government Center T stop to close for two years for $90-million overhaul

The Globe reports on the planned September, 2013 shutdown, which will include making the station ADA compliant and replacing the current bomb shelter of an entrance with something glassier.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 18, the Parks and Recreation Department holds a formal tree hearing on the T's request to chop down 21 trees along Cambridge Street to make way for the renovation project - 13 linden trees and 8 crabapple trees. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in the department's 1010 Mass. Ave. offices.



Free tagging: 


No direct transfer between

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No direct transfer between the Blue and Green Line for two years. How much money are they going to save for this massive inconvience for people from East Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop? How many people that park at Wonderland and take the Blue Line to reach the Green Line will just decide to drive to work instead? I guess everybody can go Blue to Orange to Red to Green for the transfer, there must be plenty of extra room on the Orange Line to hold the additional riders. Sure hope they will allow for free transfers for Blue Line riders that don't have passes getting off at State and walking to Park St. to get the Green Line that way instead.

I guess everybody can go Blue

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I guess everybody can go Blue to Orange to Red to Green for the transfer

I'm not sure why you're involving the Red Line. I'm assuming that you're involving Downtown Crossing, but as there is a walkway from Downtown Crossing to Park Street, actually getting on the Red Line seems a little silly.

People are going to be inconvenienced whether they keep the station open or not.

If they keep the station

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If they keep the station opened, the added inconvenience will be on weekend passengers. I would much rather have to look at an ugly construction site for four years and have my weekday Blue/Green connection travel time remain the same than have 15-25 minutes added on to my trip in each direction for 2 years.

Even if you use the Downtown-Park passageway, you still have to use the already crowded Orange Line to get from State to Downtown or leave the station and pay again to tranfer from State to Park via the street.

A more important public hearing

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From the Globe article:

Officials from the T and the state transportation department will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12 to discuss the project and the station’s planned temporary closure due to construction, officials said. It is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in conference rooms B, C, and D on the second floor at 100 Cambridge St.

There's a reason why... As

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There's a reason why...

As much as it inconviences people. The thing the T had to weigh two things

A) have a project take twice as long because they have to keep the station open

B) Close the station and inconvenience people for 2 years.

If they chose A. The station would still need to close on occasion. So people still would be inconvenience.

They chose option B because of the success they had with Science Park Station. They closed the station, and the project was done ahead of schedule. If it had not and they had to work around passengers, it would have taken far longer and cost more. The T is actually SAVING money by closing the station since they can do work in the daytime, rather than wait for the closures to do work on the platform. It just makes better for better construction sequencing.

The thing about Gov't Center station is that within a 3 minute walk you can be at State Street. Unlike, say, Wellington where the next station is a pretty long walk.

And for the record, I ride the Blue Line and transfer to Green everyday.. not looking foward to it. But it really needs to be done, it's way over due.

It's going to look nice when its done. Here's a link to the PPT that will be shown at meetings...

Reduced travel impact? How?

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I'm absolutely shocked they're seriously considering this. The PPT deck cites "reduced travel impact" as a pro, which seems absolutely Orwellian in its preposterousness.

Comparing this to Science Park is absolutely ridiculous. Science Park had ~1200 boardings/day in 2009 vs. >11,000 at Government Center, plus it's a transfer station for ~12k people a day transferring between green and blue. It's only just barely out of the top 10 busiest stations on the system.

Cite: MBTA Blue Book

EVERY ONE of those people will be significantly inconvenienced by this. Any economic analysis of this would show that the impact of this will vastly exceed the cost savings ($16-18m) from a 2-year shutdown.

Whoa whoa whoa there

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This is not the forum for reasoned, measured responses. Take that shit elsewhere.

nice, but not great

still disappoint with the green line level. With all this work they could easily add more steel and remove all those poles that make boarding and navigating the station a problem. Plus, between the added staircase and elevators, there is even less room on the Lechmere side to wait for trains. if you think it's crowded now... (one of the reasons you also see all vendors gone - no more room. So much for your morning coffee)

The total number of riders

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The total number of riders inconvienced by Science Park and Lechmere being closed for 8 months is very small compared to the number of Blue Line to Green Line transfer riders that will be impacted for two years (a much greater number for a much greater time).

The proximety of Government Center to State St. does nothing for Blue/Green transfer riders, I don't think the shut down will be a major burden for people that enter/board at Government Center, the burden will be on Blue Line to Green Line transfers. It will add 10-15 minutes per trip under good conditions, and 20-25 minutes under poor (like if you have to let several Orange Line trains go by at State because you can't squeeze on). That will add 30-60 minutes to a round-trip commute. That will be enough of a burden that some people will drive or in the case of travel to Logan, take a cab instead. I hope the cost savings they estimated for construction does take into account revenue loss from reduced use that will eat into some of the savings.

If the station remained opened during construction, it would have resulted in more weekend shut downs, not weekday.

There will be a fare equity issue for people that pay cash and then have to pay again if they walk from State to Park, or ride the Orange Line and walk from Back Bay to Copley to get the Green Line. Those people will have to pay twice.

It will put more people on the Silver Line to the airport, as passengers now transferring from Green to Blue to the shuttle bus will probably go Green to Red to Silver. Hopefully, they will add more service to the Silver Line to accomodate those riders.

And will they extend another Greeen Line branch to Haymarket besides just the C and E? All four Green Line branches go to Government Center, only two go to Haymarket.

*whine* *bitch* *moan*

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Seriously folks, I think SOMEONE would find SOMETHING to bitch about no matter what they chose.

"It's taking too long"

"It's costing more money than anticipated"

"The station is closed during xyz weekend"

Non-revenue hours & weekend diversions

Thanks for posting the ppt link, Cybah. I'm not a huge fan of everything being glass these days, but it does look less like a bomb shelter in the renderings.

While this is going to be a huge inconvenience to everyone involved, I have to agree that 2 years of no access is better than 4 years of one majorly f'ed up station. It's not like everything would be hunky dory each morning for the start of service if they had to do the repairs while keeping the station open.

The efficiency that's lost by having to work during non-revenue hours and weekends is pretty intense. As a tax payer, I'd rather the money savings and the quicker schedule, but that's me.

Good things: - Gov't Center

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Good things:

- Gov't Center is a dump, is always 1,000 degrees, and is haphazardly painted.

- Headhouse is junk and can fit about 5 people in it. And it is using plywood for floors at the moment.

- At least the Blue Line will by-pass and still go to Bowdoin.

Bad things:
- Increased passenger volume at State and Aquarium, probably not so much Bowdoin because people don't realize it exists.

- The old headhouse was in one of the Tony Hawk games.

- The guys at the convenience store on the Blue Line platform will have to find new jobs.

On the bright side

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At least they completed the Red-Blue line connection at Charles Station. Otherwise, think of all the congestion at State and Downtown Crossing. Ah, crud.

On Planet, The MBTA is a Well

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On Planet, The MBTA is a Well Run Organization That Thinks Things Through. It's very far away.

Bowdoin Station

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They should move the MBTA employees that work in Gov Center over to Bowdoin Station and keep it open normal hours during the two year period.


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In the article, it was said that Bowdoin will be open weekends and further into the evening, at least on a "trial" basis (whatever that means.)



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Thanks... missed that small note on "trial" basis.

City Hall

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Excellent - makes accessing city offices so convenient!

Why two years?

If they are closing the station, can't they raise the effort and cut the time frame?

93Fast14 was only a local example of money saved by a short-time frame project. There are a lot of advantages to compressing the construction timeline, and a number of federal projects are starting to require this.

$90 million? Doesn't the T

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$90 million? Doesn't the T have serious financial issues already?

I say build the elevator and forget the glass box.

Outstanding Contract Items

I'm surprised we are getting any money from the feds for anything at all given how the state has, as yet, to finish fulfilling its contract obligations for construction of transit that the feds already paid for in the big dig.

80% federal, so the T will

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80% federal, so the T will have to pay $18 million. (Assuming there are no overruns.)

I'd rather see them run more service with that money.

Please read up on how these things work

... and try again.
You can go back to earlier threads on the T and on federal funding for capital projects in general to get an education in the difference between operating monies and capital improvement monies.

To put it simply, operating money and capital money are different pots of money that come from different sources. The T cannot float $18 mil in bonds for operating expenses. No matter how much you wish it were so, they can't. That simply is not how these things work.

Also, consider this: without the rebuild, this station would have to permanently close due to physical deterioration and being 20 years out of date with ADA compliance. You have to maintain stuff or it rots.

The T is terribly

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The T is terribly overburdened with debt. I'd rather see them run more service than pay decades of bond interest for an unnecessary capital project.

"without the rebuild, this station would have to permanently close due to physical deterioration"


A glass box is needed to prevent deterioration?

"and being 20 years out of date with ADA compliance"

I think they should just build the elevator.

So then why not spend more

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So then why not spend more money to keep the station open during construction.

I will attend the hearing and

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I will attend the hearing and will ask whether there'll be an "out of system" transfer between Park and State for those without passes. NY has several such transfers.

Good point

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It's inconvenient enough to have to transfer from green to blue by going above ground, but it would be really annoying to have to then pay again.

I also don't understand about cutting all the trees down- are these the trees along the sidewalk where they have the farmer's market? Does this mean they're going to tear up that steel canopy as well? I sure hope they put them all back, they help soften the edge of the vast wasteland of the plaza