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Green Line Extension not quite dead yet, but it's on life support and the power just went out

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.

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Elections have consequences. Faker is just getting started. And shame on Pollack for renouncing everything she used to stand for.

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     This governor can't seem to figure out how to make anything work properly.

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While the late night service would be good the smaller number of late night employees, that alone would not sustain it.

Boston's long term status as one of America's leading cities does not hinge on the ability of some people to take the train home at late hours after a night of fun. Plenty of people will take everything else Boston offer over the fact that many of the smaller cities that people are leaving offer later night business hours. Boston has the right mix of things for plenty of people willing to pay for it because their home states couldn't produce enough jobs or education.

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Plus keeps a few drunks off the road. It was yet again setup to fail, but to keep even this limited service only cost 14 million, making the entire thing cost 10-11 million total to run per year - pennies to the 2 billion operating budget to enrish the city and give one more option on weekends. Plus the people working late at night who were able to use it to go to work.

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It is still not going to be anything that makes Boston significantly better or worse. Enriches the city is a very vague statement.

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You know, the people who don't work 9-5? They need to get places, too. Late night service isn't just about "getting home from the bar."

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"good the smaller number of late night employees"

This was addressed the first sentence of the post. Read them before you reply to them.

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You sound like you've never even taken the T, let alone late at night. What the hell is your last sentence about out-of-state people is even supposed to mean?

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Rode it for work actually. The out of state comment means that people who come from the vast majority of cities in the country that are not as desirable in Boston are hardly speaking from experience about what makes a city great.

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It's not for you to decide the multitude of ways a person could rely on the T, late night or otherwise. The point of late service is to offer the Boston metro population a reliable method to transport themselves for any purpose they dream up. When you open up the possibility of transport at any hour, you let your people decide how they can best use that availability. This is clearly the case in cities that have grown because of their reliable 24 hr train systems -- New York and Tokyo come to mind. Business grows, workers have more hours to earn wages, entertainment expands, researchers can do more research, and so on. Growth cities don't shut down.

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It's for the market to decide, and the market did not demonstrate sufficient demand to make the state eager to keep it.

Boston doesn't need to experience massive growth in order to be a very desirable place, it's very established already. It is not a Southern or Midwestern city. If you want a growth city move elsewhere to a place where the local economies have to develop more.

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Late Night service was good as gone as soon as it hit the chopping block. Not really surprising..

What's sad is there's really a need, and it's not just for the bar goers.

Case in point, I was having a discussion with someone just the other day about the need for 24 hour service and gave a prime example.

The T has these special 'first run' buses that run 30 minutes or more BEFORE subway service starts in the morning. Some of these are the 57, 89, 93, and the 117. (I know there's more of these, but these are what i can remember off the top of my head). These buses (the ones I listed above) all 'converge' at Haymarket so people can make connections to them to get where they are going long before a train ever rolls down the tracks.

There reason why I bring this up is that Saturday morning, I had to ride the first 117 for a work emergency. The 117 departs Wonderland (@4:30), follows its same route via Chelsea Center (@4:45) to Maverick (@4:55), then continues on to Haymarket (to meet the convergence of buses @5:03), and does return trip via Logan (@5:17). And the bus was packed to the gills with people and was standing room only. And it's all service workers.. people going to work. And this was a Saturday!

It's always like this.. I've rode this particular bus before, since it is the first bus out in the morning from Chelsea. And the next bus (a 111) isn't for until 5:15. Plus once we get to Haymarket there's a mad dash to make your connection to other buses (they do typically wait for all the buses to show up so people can make their connection), so there's a big need.

The regular buses (non-late night) at night aren't any better. I can't tell you how many times that I've been on a standing room only 111 or 116 last run of the night.

So there's a definite need for late night.. or better.. all night service, even if its a few extended bus routes that run hourly (yeah yeah I know.... Night Owl but this would be different). It's sad that it's going to go, there's definitely a need there for the service workers. But whatever, it doesn't seem like the T or Baker and his team care all that much about getting this to work. Sad.

World Class, Baby!

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I remember back in my college days, after a night of drunk fun, waiting at South Station for the first Red Line of the day on a Sunday.

It was packed. Standing room only. 99% appeared to be people on their way to or from work.

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on a Sunday morning. The first train on Sundays leaves Providence at 11:20 am. Let me repeat that. The first train on Sundays leaves Providence at 11:20 am. Sure, you could take Amtrak from Providence (at 6:56 or 10:25), but it is impossible for anyone who wants to board at a commuter rail stop.

How bad is that? The Patriots train leaves TF Green at 10:30 and Providence at 11:00 this Sunday. Earlier than the first trip to Boston. Sad.

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This just hardball to get the contractors to renogtiate. They inflated the price and they state is demanding a return to planet earth

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This state has a 50-year history of reneging on Green Line projects (at least we no longer have the Green Line station at Forest Hills to remind us of all the money the T put into "fixing" the Arborway line it had no intention of re-opening), so it's hard to be optimistic.

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I have to agree and thus thumbs up both here.

On one hand, it is extremely true that this is overpriced by nothing else than contractors price gouging. The Amateur Planner said it best with his comparison. There is absolutely no way in hell this project should cost this much. This indicates that this project can very well be able to be contracted out and done at a billion dollar less than the current projection. From this view, it would be disgusting if we resolve this by finding more funds to pay for it. It would be basically agreeing to let them rob us - and we even went to the bank to withdraw more money to let them take after they sucked everything from the house.

But at the same time. It is absolutely scary that we are playing with full-on cancellation. That when we look at the history of the MBTA, we can't really take confidence that the outcome will the ideal scenario where the contractor backs down from their absurd price and we get GLX built in a reasonable price (well for recent American standards). Getting GLX built at an absurd, massively inefficient cost is terrible. But not getting GLX at all isn't a great prize either.

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Tied to the big dig?

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This sucks in every way possible. But that's what you get when you elect a Republican.

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And the T dithered on this project while a Democrat was governor, and these costs surely started ballooning back then, too. (It came to light only a few months into Baker's term.) But don't let that stop you from grinding your axe.

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That came about through a lawsuit by the Conservation Law Foundation? Man, if only Stephanie Pollack hadn't left that group.

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Give them a few years and they will start ripping up the GLX tracks.

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People have theorized, both with Night Owl and now the current late night service, that the main reason the T intentionally killed it is because it was an outside idea that was pushed on them, not something they came up with themselves.

Has anyone thought possibly the T is doing the same thing with all these "legally" obligated projects? Maybe the environmental types should've tried to work with the T rather than forcing these projects on them; if so, we'd probably have the north-south rail link, red-blue connector, and GLX by now.

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Except you assume the T management has the best interests of the riders and of the economy in mind.

They dont.

Honestly half the people working in any given transit agency would love to get rid of riders because it makes their trains slow down.

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You appoint a "fiscal" control board and it cuts things. Talk about pre-determined.

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This does not look like any resolution that I ever saw in nearly a decade of public sector work. On a related matter, what is with the specific reference to the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization? I don't remember the MPO ever being known as the place to go when you need, say, a quarter or a half of a billion dollars.

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The MPO is the organization through which all Federal funding is programmed. In addition to Federally programmed funding, the MPO is also allotted money from the Highway Trust Fund that can be programmed by the MPO for MPO priorities. Most of that money is tied up in supporting local roads, but a significant amount is available for "flex funds" which can be dispensed for road, transit, or other priorities as seen fit. In a narrow sense, the FMCB is talking about the money allotted by the MPO for the extension from College Ave to Rt 16 (which was the initial scope of GLX until being cleaved back to Medford Hillside in 2006/2007). That was adopted in the latest Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), but is obviously going to be cannibalized for the current iteration of College Ave.

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Also, I thought that I heard that Braude was going to have Rep. Capuano on Greater Boston this evening. Anyone have any idea of when that program is taped (or if it's live) and whether this "announcement" will make the cut in time for discussion on the program?

I won't speak for the good representative, but if I was instrumental in getting a billion federal dollars allocated a major project in my district, only to have my state "partner" fall down on (nearly every aspect of) its end of the deal, boy would I be pissed.

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His comments in the past on this issue to rather mushy.

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The show is usually taped between 5:00-5:30.

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This affect the new bike path, or is that on separate funds?

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There's a presentation on the T's site with options to shave costs from the project as a whole and it looks like the community path extension would be moved to the north side of the tracks and would lose the elevated part approaching Cambridge. At least they haven't cut it fully yet.

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The options in the presentation by Arup seem like reasonable ways to extend the Green Line for less cost. They may have taken a Cadillac approach to everything. The chart on page 9 is astounding — the cost per mile is generally 4X to 15X other light rail projects.

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The only analysis I read on it was that "it failed." There has to be a more in depth report or what have you on it, right? Else, it just comes off as "eh, label it a failure so we don't have to keep funding it"...an easy way to slash the budget.

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Embarrassing for all involved. Expanding public transportation is a must if the region is going to grow and improve.

Of course the T will cut late night subway service and raise fares next year and car drivers will continue to pay less and less in gas tax. All dumb ideas.

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They cut late night T service at today's meeting as well, sounds like that will end in January or February.

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The region is doing just fine considering it has one of the strongest economies in the country, and there are limits to growth which some people don't want to acknowledge.

Sure, the train would be nice, but keep some perspective that Boston is already one the nicest and most dynamic areas in the country. That's why so many people pay a premium to live here and do whatever they can to leave behind other states.

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Copy and pasted the exact same reply anon? Getting lazy. Ever think that maybe it is because if our strong transportation system that we have been able to come back and be competitive at the global and national level?

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Lazy is attacking a message without trying to actual refute it, and calling something exactly the same when it isn't.

The universities, hospitals, tradition of public quality of public education, geography, and diversified economy is far more important to the states economy than our public transportation. The trains and subways are useful, but you can put them in many other cities and it wont improve them much at all. Boston just has the right mix, and has had them for a long time.

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Lazy is suggesting that "just fine" is good enough.

It isn't.

Make it better, instead of pretending everything is already perfect.

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Posture all you want. Everyone want's it to be better, unfortunately nice things cost money.

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The trains and subways are much more than "useful". They are critical. Take them away and no one would ever get to work. People would waste an incalculable amount of money and time trying to get around with tens of thousands of more cars now on the road. The air would become unhealthier to breathe and fatalities would spike with the increase in cars.

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You shouldn't start your argument a absolutely ridiculous straw man. No one is suggesting people take away the trains. You aren't even talking about the topic at hand, which is late night service.

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the universities, hospitals, schools and workplaces without sitting in gridlocked traffic 18 hours a day, which is what will happen unless we adequately fix, fund and maintain our public transportation system.

The universities, hospitals, tradition of public quality of public education, geography, and diversified economy is far more important to the states economy than our public transportation.

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Fixing and maintain does not necessarily mean adding many more stops. It can mean adding more trains or improving existing lines. There's little question Somerville would benefit from the stops, but if the money can't be sorted out it's a big challenge.

Also, instead of Somerville the state could be looking at improving the train out to Worcester and Fitchburg, or adding more stops in far flung suburbs. Not everyone who works in Boston lives in the highly desired inner suburbs.

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Economic resiliency.

This comes down to economic resiliency, The MBTA is critical to the functioning of the city's economy - the train wouldn't just be "nice", GLX determines whether or not Somerville can develop as both a commuter town and an economic center in its own right. It's a critical project for that city, and a project where the city of Somerville hasn't been a perfect, but they haven't been the ones who got so absurdly fleeced by a contractor. That's on the State and no one should accept the State pleading incompetence as the reason for why a project that's been on the drawing boards since the early 1900s (seriously....GLX was identified as a rapid transit-ready extension over a 100 yards ago) can't come to pass.

With GLX, there's a release valve in Somerville for residents and business that can't afford downtown rent. With GLX, Union Square and Brickbottom have the services to expand as employment clusters. Without it, major economic development is confined to Cambridge and downtown Boston which doesn't allow the effects of a successful economy to spread beyond property price increases and doesn't allow peripheral cities to secure their economic futures. If and when we go through another downturn, the lack of GLX will be far more stark than it is today.

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Somerville is already enormously more expensive than it was even just 15 years ago. It's an extremely desirable and trendy place to live, and it's hardly an affordable alternative to most places in the region. No one is owed a place to live there when there are so many other communities. The trains may indeed be very beneficial, but Summerville is not some isolated community. There are plenty of other towns that could use the extension of the commuter rail in this state, but they aren't the trendy communities everyone pictures themselves living in.

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I'm not entirely sure anyone ever made the argument that they were "owed" a place to live, but I'm curious to know what community/ies are as low hanging of fruit as Somerville and the GLX that could possibly give the ROI that Somerville offers.

It's not to say that those communities don't need development and access, but the GLX provides the opportunity for Somerville, the Greater Boston Region, and the State. It is a very promising area for communal and economic growth.

The trendiness and rent increases over the past 15 years speak for themselves, eh?

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Orange Line extension south, possibly? I don't think you'd net as many riders but the development itself would be a fair amount cheaper, and you're replacing a ton of operating costs with the bus corridors, so in raw ROI it's extremely low-hanging.....

Somerville is doubtlessly number 1, though, in terms of rides a day and decreasing strain elsewhere in the system. I wouldn't be surprised if, if Somerville/Medford end up fighting this, Cambridge and Arlington and any other commutes-to-redline towns don't join them -- the GLX will provide massive improvements in the RL on that side of the city.

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Extending the Red Line out to Arlington would shorten the commute for people who drive dozens of miles to Alewife.

"The trendiness and rent increases over the past 15 years speak for themselves, eh?"

They suggest that Somerville has been quite well regardless and other communities should have the same opportunities.

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Extending the Red Line out to Arlington was originally proposed instead of ending at Alewife. People in Arlington fought it tooth and nail.

Somerville's opportunity might not be unique, and many other communities may need development, but I still think that Somerville's presents one of the best opportunities for community and economic development over any of the other communities you mentioned.

If Somerville has already been doing "quite well", imagine how much better it can do (for itself, and the State), if this development is realized.

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There are plenty of other towns that could use the extension of the commuter rail in this state, but they aren't the trendy communities everyone pictures themselves living in.

Extensions that are expected to generate 52,000 trips per day? No there aren't. The CR network has also been expanded by over 100 revenue miles in the past 25 years while the rapid transit network has remained in its current configuration - the suburbs have received more than enough CR pork already. Let's also disabuse ourselves of the notion that the CR is an economic development tool - it is not, over 71% of CR riders already make 75k+ per year (53% make 100k+). The CR is for rich suburbanites too fed up with the auto commute, it offers nowhere near the across-the-board benefit that rapid transit does.

But you're making my point. Somerville has become on expensive place to live. Nobody works there however. Only 17% of Somerville's resident workforce remains in the town (over 50% go to Boston or Cambridge) which is one of the lowest ratios inside 128. And Somerville is well-positioned to actually integrate with the economy beyond just acting as an increasingly chi-chi commuter town. GLX, rapid transit, is the only thing, however, that can deliver enough people, efficiently enough, to create economic clusters of substantial size. It's nothing to do with trendy, it's about regional economics.

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"Extensions that are expected to generate 52,000 trips per day?"

You contradict yourself and make my point for me. Somerville, as you've suggested is already completely built out and mostly residential. There isn't a huge amount of open space to create a ton of commercial space that will substantial change the percentage of commuters. Not everyone has to work in the same town where they live. The trains would be good but they would mostly serve to bolster the property values of people who already live there.

"the suburbs have received more than enough CR pork already"

The commuter rail makes it possible in far flung towns to avoid using a car nearly as much, which is what this topic started as. This will be very important to prevent in inner suburbs from having the only reasonable commutes.

"Let's also disabuse ourselves of the notion that the CR is an economic development tool"

You must not have looked at real estate in the suburbs, where the commuter rail is widely considered a selling point. The real estate prices have already factored it in.

"The CR is for rich suburbanites too fed up with the auto commute"

Tell that to people who live in Fitchburg or Lowell, you sound very out of touch.

"over 71% of CR riders already make 75k+ per year"

What is the mean wage of a person who has bough property in Somerville in the last 10 years? Probably very high.

75K for commuter rail riders is not much higher than the mean average wage in this state.

"It's nothing to do with trendy, it's about regional economics."

Plenty of people who bought into the rapidly gentrifying Somerville in recent years did so for walkability and thought that the state was going to pay to make their already very successful town even more ideal.

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has the highest population density in the state, and is directly adjacent to downtown Boston. You don't think it's a pretty good candidate for public transit investment?

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The gas tax increased last year. What the voters rejected was the part of the new law that allowed the Legislature to make future gas tax increases possible without any sort of popular oversight; letting unelected technocrats in Washington (those who set the CPI) determine Massachusetts' future taxes, that is. It was an irresponsible and spineless way of ensuring permanent tax increases, and the voters saw through it. And threw it out.

But don't stop spreading lies. I'll keep posting this kind of response each time I see them.

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And you will look foolish each time you post it.

I shouldn't have to explain such basic math to an adult but here you go, anon: lack of a substantial increase in gas tax (FOR DECADES NOW!) + inflation + increase in costs + cars using less gas per mile = drivers paying less in gas tax.

Auto fees only cover half of the budget. People who don't even drive have to pay for roads they don't use because many drivers are so cheap and short sighted and certain politicians are in the pocket of oil and auto corporations.

Meanwhile subway users have had their fare doubled over the last dozen years.

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because when I made this exact point two weeks ago, the screaming responses were that the referendum vote last year was the voters saying that they did not want a higher gas tax.

As you point out, that is not correct.

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The last time the gas tax had gone up was in 1991. It's now 2015.

The recent rise was from 21c/gal to 24c/gal, a 3c raise (less than 15%). Even just keeping up with inflation would have made it closer to 36c/gal.

MBTA fares for a ride from Harvard to South Station over the same period from 1991 to today rose from 85c to $2.10 (with a CharlieCard) or $2.65 (without), an increase of $1.25 or $1.80 (147% or 211%).

So let's mandate fair and equal treatment: index gas tax increases to the MBTA fare or vice versa. (I'll be kind and use the CharlieCard discount fare.) So either gas taxes rise to about 52c/gal or T fares drop to 97c. Y'know what? I'll even allow rounding that up to a dollar.

It's totally fair and even. Same percentage increases on each side of the debate.

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And we wanted to host the Olympics. What a joke. This city is growing exponentially and there is basically no possibility of any new major public transportation for the foreseeable future. Major problems for this city for many years to come.

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We would have had transportation infrastructure upgrades up the wazoo.

And we'd be deep in debt with no clue how to pay it off.

But if you can figure out a politically palatable way of coming up with the extra billion or so needed, I'm sure the State House would love to hear it.

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the gas tax.

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Raise T fairs! You want the GLX etc. let T riders pay for it.

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All of them!

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And let cars sit in gridlock traffic forever and always, amen.

Cars benefit when public transportation use rises.

We could go the way of London and charge all cars an entry toll into the city. I propose that the fee begin at 2x the T fare (to cover their trip back out).

And I'm primarily a driver, haven't used the T in months, but I'm realistic about what it means for traffic and general livability when one trip on the T is more expensive than a gallon of gas. There's no defense for that, none.

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Your inability to write aside, you do know that car drivers don't even come anywhere close to paying for the roads they use, right?

You want those highways? Raise the gas tax. Let car drivers pay for it.

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Last time I checked we pay 44.94 cents per gallon state and federal gas tax. Let's round that that up to.45 cents and say we have a 15 gallon gas tank. That would be $6.75 in taxes paid for each fill up. I think that's enough!

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You may think it is enough, but you are flat out wrong. Gas tax should be doubled. Gas prices are at a 6 year *low*, it's time to raise it.

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...as a gas tax payer, you feel your opinion of what you should pay is what should determine the tax level? But for transit riders, we should have to keep paying until the whole bill is met?

How is that fair?

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The only place it's politically acceptable to say "let the users pay for it" among people here is the freeways. Transit is rationalized as a "public good" everyone else should pay for, but somehow the freeways getting people to work or whatever isn't.

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Because freeways are already subsidized at rates that make The Ride look like a capitalist profit machine.

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I beg you, for at least three reasons:

1) this isn't the West Coast and that's not what we call them here;
2) they are not free (even if their construction costs are already paid for) - and the idea of a "freeway" reinforces a lot of bad notions that are part of the larger problem here; and
3) it grates on my delicate eyes.

Thank you.

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Public transit in Boston benefits all of Massachusetts. Raising fares is straight up idiocy.

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No, it's called everyone sharing the burden. Raising fares should be on the table.

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Fares just went up this past year. And also went up two years ago.

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... including externalities like emergency services, pollution damage, etc. I will agree.

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I'd settle for the costs matching just the direct costs (maintenance, etc.). That said, your comment hits on one of my pet peeves - that most people can appreciate accounting costs, but they cannot/will not even begin to (or even try to) understand economic costs.

Even widespread basic understanding would change everything.

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So NPR was asking the same question the other day, "why not raise fares?". Given the history of MBTA, the mismanagement, and the incompetence, are we really certain we want to take that route? I don't think throwing more money at the problem will fix anything.

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I don't think throwing more money at the problem will fix anything.

Let's throw less money at it and see if that works.

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I was driving today when I saw a Prius with a "repeal the gas tax" sticker on it (along with a host of Republican candidate stickers)

I'd support raising the gas tax, but most voters won't (unless packaged properly)

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Not all Priuses are driven by smug, guilt-ridden environmentalists; some people are just frugal. I drive one of the most gas-efficient Toyotas they make myself, a Corolla that gets ~33mi/gal, and do so entirely out of economic reasons. I would probably buy a Prius if I had found one in the same purchase price range.

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That depends on the type of driving that you do.

If you are running around the city a lot, they are frugal. If not, you are better off with a turbodiesel for long-haul driving.

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A moderate Republican (read conservative 25 years ago) friend of mine proudly drives his Prius. He's such frugal SOB.

That said, the vote on indexing the gas tax should tell you something about the mood on raising the gas tax.

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Perhaps it's silly to get emotional over transit, but I genuinely despise these cretins. Most of all Pollack, the despicable puppet.

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The Lowell line commuter rail can't adjust and make a few stops like the Franklin line has?

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1. It is at capacity or more - sometimes no room at West Medford as it is.
2. The stations were taken out 40 years ago and would have the same price tag.
3. It would turn the last 12 minutes into a half hour or more - unreasonable length of time for commuters.

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All I'd like to see is 1 stop in Somerville. Ball Square would be a good location, it's close to Davis Square. The problem is no direct bus to Davis but thats a simple fix.

Many other CR lines have stops near the end of a subway line, why cant the Lowell line?

Haverhaill @ Malden Center - Orange Line
Fitchburg @ Porter Square - Red Line
Worcester @ Yawkey & the coming New Balance stop
Needham @ Forest Hills
Greenbush @ JFK
Kingston/Plymouth @ JFK / Braintree
Middleborough @ JFK / Braintree

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Somerville is one of the most densely populated areas in the Northeast, let alone Massachusetts. Already the majority of its residents commute to work by public transit and they do by putting up with slow, out of the way bus transfers. Only a small portion are actually able to access close by rapid transit (we're talking 30% of Somerville public transit riders) at Davis and Porter. The rest bus it. Commuter rail is not an improvement over the bus. it's too infrequent for Somerville - even if a stop was added to Union Square or Ball, few people would use it as the bus connections are more frequent. It would also further injure schedule capacity on the Lowell and Fitchburg through an additional stop and start entering Boston.

If it comes down to CR stop or nothing - go with nothing. It's not an improvement and not worth the cost. Somerville can sustain a light-rail extension, easily actually, GLX is the only option for improving access from Somerville. Nothing else, no bus-route optimization (Somerville riders are spread across too many bus routes for that to be an option), no CR stop, nothing offers anything close to the service upgrade from GLX. It's GLX or nothing if we're talking access in Somerville.

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I 100% agree with you but let's be fair, there's a good amount of eastern Somerville (you know, the unpopular part) that's well within walking catchment of Sullivan, even if the station is technically in Charlestown.

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well within walking catchment of Sullivan

Glossing over Sullivan was on oversight (as was Assembly, but that's not really integrated into the transfer system yet) - but there's actually something to be said about the way Sull operates. Sullivan is not a great walking catchment station - only about 1.6k riders walk there on a given day. Most of from E. Somerville and the MBTA seems to committed to making that walk as miserable as possible for some reason. Davis and Porter accrue 6k and 4k walking-access riders, not all from Somerville, but certainly exert a far greater pull on their immediate catchment than Sullivan.

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there's a good amount of Somerville close to the Cambridge border in Inman (and Cambridge, for that matter) that would highly benefit from the GLX in Union. So..... well, you can do the math, I hope.

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You clearly do not know the area. Stop.

Or, better yet, try this in the field. See how much of Somerville that you can ACTUALLY reach safely and on foot that isn't warehouses. Do it at night - I dare you. You might get lucky and be able to cross the street!

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Lol ok I lived in the area for 6 years and walked to the train for work every day (and came home after dark! Oh no!) Maybe you should not make assumptions about people?

From Sullivan you can go west along the south sidewalk on Broadway into East Somerville. It's not a PRETTY walk, but it's hardly dangerous. Once you get past taco loco and into the commercial area, you can cross Broadway if you need to be on the north side. East Somerville is very accessible by foot. Hell, Winter Hill area isn't bad either.

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So, is Union slready built? Is there just a platform standing there with no train attached?

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if any of the people making these decisions have ever USED late-night service on the T.

Some of the problems with the way late-night service is currently set up:

1. Late-night service is not advertised.

2. They cut back so that the last train/bus is of little use to workers. I actually work at a bar on Saturday nights and I leave work about 2:30 a.m. Most of the "late-night" service has already ended.

3. Headways are not frequent enough. As often happens, someone may miss a bus or a train by seconds. The next one? 30 minutes? No thanks.

4. As for the buses, not all the routes make sense. In fact, on June 27, five buses were cut from late-night service. The original thought was to offer late-night service on the 15 busiest bus routes. But just because a route is busy during the day does not mean it will be patronized well during late-night. On the other hand, some routes that are screaming for late-night service were ignored. There is no late-night service on the #9, for example, which serves Copley Square and Broadway on the Red and Green lines. In fact, there is no late-night service to South Boston at all. You can get to Broadway, but then you have to walk up to two miles to get to the east side of South Boston. I have a 30-minute walk on Saturday nights and get home at 3am because there is no service to South Boston.

5. For those of you who say to take an Uber or taxi, have you ever tried to get an Uber or taxi between 2 and 3 am? Next to impossible unless you are downtown or in the bar areas. It's also too expensive. Uber often has surge pricing in effect at that time.

Of course public transit loses money. It's a public service. Roads don't make any money either, but I haven't seen a movement to shut down roads after a certain hour. Except for sports or big events, public transit after 9pm doesn't exactly get great crowds either but is vitally necessary. Renegotiate the union contracts. Nobody NEEDS to make a premium to drive a bus or subway after midnight. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would work the shift at a "normal" rate of pay. It's a job.

Some people mentioned Paris and London do not have 24-hour service on their subway lines. True. But there, and in many other cities, they offer late-night replacement bus service along the subway lines. I have taken it in London.

The only certainty is that we need to find a way to streamline costs while still providing this needed service.

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The decisions made by our leaders are routinely dreadful but probably conform with the majority of voters' desire to never spend money on state services that don't benefit them personally.

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Actually, the really stupid part about picking the top 15 routes is that they didnt look at segments.

From Forest hills, there are a dozen routes that all have good ridership, and for a good segment, serve the same corridor. That means people simply take the first one that arrives.

On their own, none make the top 15. But the corridor as a whole is probably one of the busiest in the region.

No night service of course, because all they did was rank the excel file by ridership and delete everything below row 15.

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And if you've ever ridden it, you'd know why.

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Given how hot the real estate market in much of Greater Boston (and certainly around downtown) is, and given the needs of the transit system (among other things, but let's just talk transit for now) these "tax incentives" (e.g., Liberty Mutual, Vertex, etc.) have to be limited and the revenue plowed back into public infrastructure (I'm aware that the revenue would nominally go to the City but that could be changed). For example, if I were in the Legislature, I would be pushing legislation that said, essentially, if you want to give a "tax incentive" like those mentioned above, you have to get a relatively large up front payment that will be put into trust for infrastructure improvements.

Of course, we could just make it easier and adopt a value-capture system of taxation for properties nearest transit and other amenities.

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