City officials today unwrapped a wishbook of projects to turn Boston into a 21st-century city with reliable transit service that connects people in remote neighborhoods with jobs in growing districts nowhere near downtown and with bike lanes and sidewalks that become safe and reliable ways to get around.
The Go Boston 2030 plan is based in part on existing projects and proposals - such as the T's purchase of new Red and Orange Line trains and the creation of a new West Station transit hub at the old Allston train yard that Harvard wants to turn into a new neighborhood.
But the plan also calls for a city commitment to spend money over the next 15 years on everything from "rapid bus" service between Mattapan to the Longwood Medical Area and on Washington Street between Forest Hills and Roslindale Square, to working with the state to get the Fairmount Line working more like a subway and to bringing rail service to the South Boston Waterfront via the long unused Track 61.
But even more ambitiously - and without putting a specific price tag on it - the plan calls on Boston to create a new transit district with neighboring towns that would have the authority to build new street-car lines and mini-bus routes, to get people around a region where jobs are increasingly in areas well away from downtown Boston, such as the Longwood area, Harvard's planned Allston expansion and even Widett Circle on the Dorchester/South Boston line.
Boston will spearhead a new core transit district in collaboration with nearby communities to provide additional transit services that expand the MBTA's capacity within the broader region. Building off of local shuttle successes, the district would focus on non-competing modes that may include shared transportation and technology providers that could extend the range of MBTA transit or alternative modes of travel such as mini-buses, streetcars, or urban rail on routes such as the Fairmount Indigo Line. Boston would complement this with a new transit streets initiative that focuses on speeding up buses and improving the passenger experience on city streets. Broader and creative revenue sources would help fund new services and improvements, and integrated fare payment and information technologies would make the services feel seamlessly integrated with the MBTA.
And, the report posits a sort of mega-CharlieCard that would let users pay for everything from a ride on the Orange Line to renting a ZipCar or paying for a ride in a driverless ride-share car.
Complete list of possible projects (73M PDF).