Do you know what it takes to park a train? To create a place to park a train? Are you aware of the almost trivial simplicity of this task? Well, the MassDOT is quite aware that the public (including elected officials) have no clue, and are thus ripe for the type of manipulation which they (and other public transit agencies) have perfected over the last few decades.
I could go into the other massive ripoffs, going back to the Big Dig, but it would take more time to educate. The project titled Commuter Rail Layover Facility, if indeed the special interest are successful, will mark yet another amazing low in the gullibility level of Bostonians and other Massachusetts tax payers.
Before the Olympics push (largely driven by profit seeking developers) arose, the DOT had an internal team analyze sites deemed initially suitable for parking commuter rail trains between peak use periods on 'work' days. That team, rightfully, eliminated Widett Circle properties, citing the enormous cost of obtaining the close-in, uniquely purposed, and oversized dual parcels .
And yet (no surprise if you are aware of what goes on behind the scenes), less than two years later those same parcels ended up on a very short list of sites to acquire for the train parking lot. You see, as the Olympic frenzy began in 2013 and surged in 2014, those properties became a prime focus of speculation, where Boston developer profiteers salivated and drew up plans for the area based upon public acquisition of that property.
With Boston and Mass. taxpayers having survived the Olympics fever without seemingly any damage, a bunch of developers were left with dangling dreams of fortunes being made. However, all was not lost; they always have a friend in the MassDOT Secretary's Office.
Soon the folks at MassDOT had put Widett Circle back on their short list of sites for a train parking lot. Indeed, things were now better than before, with no stadium in the way, and the prospect for cheap air rights, relative to the high costs and complications of having to buy the, legislation protected, property themselves.
Abusing the public purse is not the least bit new for Boston developer profiteers. The whole concept of a need to expand South Station was born out of their wanting to profit off of the Fort Point Channel property now occupied by the USPS, shocking as that might be to T news followers.
I would attach a 'white paper' analysis of the Layover (parking lot) Facility issue here, which reveals not only MassDOT's duplicity, but also an excellent (functionally superior and far less costly) solution which does not entail tremendous outlays (particularly additional property acquisitions), but the PDF file well exceeds the upload size limit allowed on this site. I will gladly email a copy to anyone inquiring.
I have just recently sent it to the Governor's office, where it is likely to die a quick death to protect the insiders who benefit, and I sent a copy to the so called 'spotlight' team at the Globe, where however they are not apt to meddle in the profiteering by Boston's power structure elites . . . look how long it took for them to challenge just the Catholic hierarchy in the city.
You will benefit your fellow tax payers and T riders by reading it and contacting the Governor's (and your state legislator's) office.
I did make an attempt to provide the functionally better (and far less costly) option directly to MassDOT. That I was offered any reply is somewhat surprising, especially since the one I did receive contained such limp minded retorts. It made it all too apparent that DOT planning decisions, at least in this case, were based on what the 'higher ups' wanted, not any public cost/benefit or technically sound rationale.
If you request the file on the 'parking lot' issue, I will also, if interested, tell (show) you how to accomplish a South Station platform/berth expansion (at ground level) without an overtly expensive taking and demolition of the USPS facility. It might seem like 'outside the box' thinking, but it's really just practical solution seeking.
The alternative South Station expansion option should not only be (far) less expensive, and doable right away, but will also provide tremendous passenger benefits not currently conceived.
If the waste of hundreds of millions of dollars of your public fiscal resources matters not to you, then this is irrelevant. And, indeed that is what allows it to occur so frequently.
Face it, there is NO position in our 'system' that is incentivized to provide maximum cost effective solutions or to independently critique bureaucratically provided proposals for maximum cost effectiveness . . . No one (certainly not intellectually challenged politicians).
Everyone involved, publicly and privately (including the news media), is incentivized in a way that encourages maximizing the costs to benefits ratio of government spending.