Before the state expands the T, it should upgrade its existing services, report says

A report by several do-gooder groups says the state needs to do more to improve public transit inside the core of the state's economy - Boston and the other communities clustered around it within and along 128.

The report, by A Better City, with funding from the Barr Foundation and the Boston Foundation, comes just two days after state officials re-affirmed their commitment to building a new commuter-rail line between Boston and Fall River.

Although the impending new cars on the Red and Orange Lines, when paired with signal improvements, will dramatically increase capacity on those lines - 50% on the Red Line and 30% on the Orange - the rapidly growing 20 "core communities" of the greater Boston area need far more to keep the region growing as the state's economic engine, the report says, estimating good public transit pays for itself several times over, through such things as reduced travel times, crashes and vehicular emissions

One possible solution: Purchasing new commuter-rail cars with their own diesel engines, which would allow for subway-like "urban rail" service on current rail lines. The Patrick administration had proposed these; the idea was one of the first things Charlie Baker killed when he became governor.

The report also calls for development of "bus rapid transit" corridors, similar to the theoretical Silver Line "rapid transit" service between Dudley Square and downtown.

BRT could connect places like Forest Hills, Blue Hill Avenue, Dudley, the Longwood Medical Area, Kendall, Lechmere, Everett's Lower Broadway and the Seaport.

The complete report (7.5M PDF).

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Comments

Speaking of BRT

What's next for the Roslindale/FH dedicated bus lane concept?

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Voting is closed. 47

It would be a huge

By on

It would be a huge embarrassment for the city of Boston if they don't implement the rapid bus project to Forest Hills this year because a few entitled drivers complained about fewer free parking spaces.

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Voting is closed. 57

Whoosh

I posted a question asking for more information a project which is important to me as a Roslindale resident and the response was that it would 'embarrassing' if it wasn't funded with provides zero new information. Hence, my post.

Anyways, thanks for explaining that buses carry more people than cars. I had thought until just now that cars and buses were the exact same thing.

Hey, is it cheeper to move stuff on freighters or airplanes? That one is also puzzling me...

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Voting is closed. 22

The google

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didn't give me much info on this.

it would be interesting to see the results of the trial. is it over?

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Voting is closed. 20

Next step is sometime this spring

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The earlier test was basically just to see if they could set up/break down a lane. They discovered they could.

The next is supposed to be a longer pilot, in both directions and rush hours, with any luck taking advantage of the new traffic-signal timing near Forest Hills.

They haven't yet announced specific dates.

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Voting is closed. 32

Spring?

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I recall that the idea was to roll is out "in the spring," which means any time between March and June.

I still don't get why outbound isn't a part of this, but what do I know?

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Voting is closed. 22

Anyone Live In Bristol County Here?

If you do, would you mind calling whatever toupee wearing back slapper who is your state rep / state senator and tell them stop holding up the rebuilding of the existing T because they want their cousin Manny to get a job rebuilding a bridge somewhere in Freetown? Please.

Easton and Norton don't want the commuter rail going through their towns. There have been options over the years of running a train to Fall River from the over crowded Providence line, leaving at Mansfield, through Norton and down to Fall River, and then onto New Bedford. This means a 2.25 hour trip to Boston from New Bedford.

Commuter rail is great. I take it at least three times a week. It works where it works and I'm sure it will be great someday when it is needed in the City of Sweatpants, but for now, how about fixing Quincy Center station rather than a brand spanking new railroad?

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Voting is closed. 42

CR to Fall River

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It's such a waste barely anyone would ride it. The T Pass would be around $400 + parking, plus an 60min+ commute. I think the politicians that push for this rail extension just want to do it as a jobs program.

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Voting is closed. 30

Mass should freeze all CLF expansion, but not all expansion

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The bane of South Coast Rail has been these insane Conservation Law Foundation commitments for electrified service to Bristol County. The rest of the commuter rail network is diesel. Yet, they propose electric service for one of the most tepid line proposals. The same goes for the Green Line Extension. The little Somerville spur to Union Square? That was actually developed as a way to get Somerville on board with the CLF GLX. The actual CLF GLX, aka the Medford Line, is just as insane as the SCR electric car demand. A new massive four track trench for four miles of local service. The Somerville Green Line spur will cost around $500 million. The Medford Green Line extension will cost around $2 billion. Baker needs to separate the pragmatic expansion proposals from the crazy CLF proposals. The Greenbush Line was a big enough disaster. Let's not have Greenbush 2.0 and Greenbush 3.0.

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Voting is closed. 48

Umm

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You seem to be all over the place on Cambridge vs Somerville, but, either way, the GLX is very well studied and one of the best projected ridership/bang for buck that one could get going through some of the densest neighborhoods in Greater Boston.

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Voting is closed. 43

Imagine how much more bang

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Imagine how much more bang/buck the GLX would provide if it cost a fraction of the current estimate. The money saved could be used on more rail expansion.

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Voting is closed. 25

Sure

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Construction has begun on the Green Line extension. Federal funding has been secured. Contracts have been signed. Let's just can the whole thing now and lose all the federal funding that is dedicated to the GLX and start from scratch.

Seriously, guy, why do you hate the GLX so much?

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Voting is closed. 12

Saving 1.5 to 1.7 billion is a bad thing?

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Lower taxes is a bad thing? Sound spending is a bad thing? I'm for more transit in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford. But if there are ways to have the same level of service and save billions, I'm in.

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Voting is closed. 21

Lol

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As I already pointed out in my other reply we aren't going to save anything with the magic DMU plan - in fact with the loss of federal matches, we would probably end up spending more in local/MA tax money on it. Again though, the DMUs even at best aren't going to provide the same/better service than the GLX, and the GLX helps the entire line. Somverville/Cambridge are, again, some of the densest neighborhoods in the great Boston Area and it makes sense to expand actual rapid transit to them and it is pretty much the most sound spending we could do. I for one don't mind paying my current taxes (and I certainly pay enough between state and Federal) if it means real investments in real transportation and infrastructure - unlike say the half-assery that was the Silver Line.

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Voting is closed. 12

State would pay less than half if it went with a GLX alternative

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The state's GLX match is just over 1.1 billion. It looks like California just built a 40 mile fra compliant mu rail line for $450 million. 40 miles compared to 4.5 miles. Its safe to say a DMU GLX alternative would be less than $450 million, which is less than half of the $1.1 billion state match. So no, the state would pay less if it went with a GLX alternative. In addition, Allston, Grove Hall, Downtown Chelsea, Dudley all have higher densities than Somerville's Union Sq and Western Medford. Its best to improve transit in those four areas alongside Somerville and Medford

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Voting is closed. 17

Wrong

Bullshit on the "blah blah denser blah blah". You are denser between the ears. People have shown and cited census information REPEATEDLY to show that you are WRONG. Please check census figures - NO GERRYMANDERING - and try again.

Or just take your fact-free bullshit and go the fuck away. On a DMU, if necessary.

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Voting is closed. 13

Good reference, but ...

By on

You used it incorrectly.

The entire GLX corridor is very heavily populated. The other places have small foci of higher population density,but their overall density is nowhere near what Somerville and the GLX corridor in particular maintain.

You cannot compare small blocks or small areas to a larger area that is consistently densely populated. That is ridiculous.

If you are going to cite things like this, you really should read them first. Learning how to read them is also important.

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Voting is closed. 6

No

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Pretty much incorrect. BTW, with DMUs, you still have to do the the stations, which... are a huge part of the price tag. Oh, and then no union square spur? No improvements to the entire green line with the new maintence facility? BTW - you, as I have pointed out, are again leaving out the North Station Expansion that would be needed for any increased service/capacity that even push/pulls would bring, let alone DMUs.

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Voting is closed. 8

Riiiiight

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If by that you mean cost even more than the GLX, then sure. DMU dingy service? So lets see - cost to buy them, cost to build/upgrade maintence facilities for them, oh, and North Station is already at/beyond capacity so it would also require the North Station expansion project or the NSRL and still wouldn't provide anywhere near the service levels or convenience that the GLX is providing. Plus the GLX enhances the entire line and all branch service with the added maintence facility - this way they now have one at both ends of the line, along other things that will help out ops on the green line.

BTW, the green line is already funded and paid for, including basically dollar for dollar matching federal funds. None of the work for DMUs or to support them have this funding.

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Voting is closed. 9

The state has an active urban rail study

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Which includes multiple unit analysis. In addition, only a fraction of the GLX is funded. The feds handed over $100 million, not $1 billion. They can cut off funding at anytime. The state has yet to come up with a full matching plan

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Voting is closed. 14

$100 million handed over

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But another $896 million has been committed by the feds. Once again, you are proving that your grasp of the facts is tenuous.

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Voting is closed. 16

???

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For the initial work, and with another ~$900 billion committed. What are you even talking about/grasping at here?

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Voting is closed. 9

OK

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It is - but then again it includes 7 stations, the community path, remediation work, an entire new yard and maintenance facility, the Type-9 rolling stock order, multiple bridges, and work done literally next to an active heavy rail line. Again, the line hits one of the densest areas without rapid transit and is a hell of a lot bigger bang for the buck than the SCR.

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Voting is closed. 11

So

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Basically you just don't want to expand service then at any cost? The GLX is the right way to go and was studied (along with alternative) ad nauseum. Good transit costs money and ends up paying it back pretty easily.

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Voting is closed. 8

Baker's Cuts?

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That's strange - it is the Great and General Court that decides what money gets spent.

More evidence that you don't live here.

Consider this:
MA House: 35 Republicans, 125 Democrats
MA Senate: 4 Republicans, 36 Democrats

They could fix the system. They just don't. They could override Baker. They just don't.

Have a problem with transit spending? Talk to these guys.

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Voting is closed. 7

Fine then

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Storrow Drive is too expensive to maintain. Way more expensive per mile!

Rip it up.

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Voting is closed. 7

The CLF had nothing to do

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The CLF had nothing to do with the electrification requirement - that was mandated by the Army Corps of Engineers as a condition of granting the necessary wetlands permits.

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Voting is closed. 15

That is not true

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If it started with the Army Corps. Then Providence CR would be required to electrify as well.

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Voting is closed. 27

Understand this

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The GLX troll does not accept established facts.

Also, I think both anons are in fact the same person, but that's just a theory. I mean, we could say they all look the same to us and be right, too.

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Voting is closed. 8

Yeah I really need to stop

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Yeah I really need to stop taking the bait. I mean 3 new, very similarly worded replies from anons after I posted a link to the EIS still claiming otherwise.

Honestly I don't even understand why Adam still allows these trolls to post.

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Voting is closed. 10

Ya know

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When Adam posted this (and it is an interesting report) my first thought was "that guy who hates the GLX is going to (phrase that is rather crass) when he sees this. It's like chum to a shark.

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Voting is closed. 9

Apples to oranges.

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Apples to oranges.

The Army Corps of Engineers approves permits on a case-by-case basis, and can slap on whatever requirements they want. In this case, they added a requirement for electrification.

I don't even understand what you're arguing at this point. Have you now accepted that the Corps are responsible for the electrification requirement rather than the CLF, but think that the Corps' requirement is invalid because it didn't apply to another project across the country?

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Voting is closed. 7

What are you saying?

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That two different projects in two different ecosystems emerged from their environmental review with two different results? Crazy.

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Voting is closed. 7

You're right

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The Cali train runs through miles of extremely fragile wetlands within a state with extremely harsh environmental guidelines. Great news for Mass

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Voting is closed. 8

New diesel train in California's Bay Area, wetlands, no elec req

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A new diesel train started running just north of San Francisco in Cali's Bay Area. It crosses through miles of wetlands in the counties of Marin and Sonoma. There was no federal electrification requirement barrier. Its one track most of the way. The train connects small cities and crosses miles of sparsely populated terrain. I also believe its an MU. The train A Better City mentioned in its report. It might be a good model for South Coast Rail. Massachusetts should get in touch with Cali. See how they got things done.

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Voting is closed. 22

That's the SMART train

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It was estimated at $500 million for 40 plus miles of rail service. It came in under budget at around $450. Roughly $11 million per mile. After a few months, they're already adding cars to meet demand

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Conservation Law is so sad

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They always target poor communities. Believing they don't have any knowledge of city and state operations

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Voting is closed. 11

There's no law preventing it,

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There's no law preventing it, no, except for the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers needs to approve wetlands permits, and the Corps only did so on the condition that the line must be electrified.

I linked right to the EIS above. Read it for yourself.

I'm sorry the facts contradict your narrative.

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Voting is closed. 8

Oh

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You again.

I'm not even sure you have ever been TO Boston, let alone outside of it.

You are ridiculous. The CLF didn't "order" the GLX - IT WAS MANDATED BY A COURT ORDER AS A MITIGATION TO THE BIG DIG THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPOSEDLY PAID FOR.

Also, look at a fucking map sometime, why don't you? One of the most densely populated areas IN THE UNITED STATES is not served by rapid transit.

Dolt.

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Voting is closed. 13

The GLX Troll is right

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Much like a stuck clock, he speaks the truth for once. The Conservation Law Foundation did fight for the extension of the Green Line into Somerville and Medford, along with the revival of the Old Colony commuter rail and a few other things.

And technically, at the time all of the mitigation requirements were unfunded, but of course projects like these typically get federal funding, which all of the mitigation projects that have been done, or in the case of GLX are being done, have received.

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Voting is closed. 8

GLX Troll?

By on

what?

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Voting is closed. 11

All I’m saying is this

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There’s someone too cowardly to post with a name who insists that the Green Line extension is the worst thing in the world. Since he repeatedly does this, he’s the GLX troll. If he was brave enough to just register with a fictitious name (like I have) or even just post with a name without registering (like the SoBo Yuppie) I would just call him by that name, but he doesn’t, meaning I assume every anti GLX comment is by him.

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That's a bad policy

By on

Have you seen the housing lotteries in Somerville? Gentrification is hitting Somerville hard. Over two decades I have met hundreds if not thousands who are displeased with the GLX.

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Voting is closed. 15

You know what?

I find it really hard to believe that you live around here, have ever been to any of the places that you mention, or know anything whatsoever about any neighborhood but your own if you do.

You clearly know nothing about the demographics or cartography of any place you make these statements about. You just repeatedly chant your mantras like they will magically become true if you repeat them often enough.

Perhaps you should apply for a position in the current regime, given your passion for DIY "facts".

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Voting is closed. 11

I live in Somerville, within

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I live in Somerville, within walking distance of one of the GLX stops, and everyone I talk to is either indifferent or supports it.

I've also met hundreds if not thousands of people who are displeased with it, but they tend to not be the ones who actually live here and would actually benefit from it.

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Voting is closed. 10

Actually its a little bit higher

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When you factor in detour costs and lost revenue from cancelled or diverted trains north of the GLX. Town assessments will be adjusted during the construction period.

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Voting is closed. 10

Wrong again

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Menino mucked it up by building out according to a 1950s template for Redevelopment.

One that left out the fact that many workers would want to get there from North Station, and many more by South Station, and not so many by car.

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Voting is closed. 12

I can still hear the Conservation Law screaming

By on

What could have been a useful GLX from the Back Bay trunk to the Seaport, aka the original South Boston transit-way concept, turned into the plop you see today. The city and state wanted a Seaport rail connection to boost waterfront activity. Conservation Law demanded another transit link to Logan. Presto. You get a half-completed GLX tunnel with a bus running through it.

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Voting is closed. 12

GO AWAY

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JUST GO AWAY

Filling in a missing space in one of the most densely populated areas IN THE NATION is what we NEED from transit.

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Voting is closed. 8

Adam?

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Can you think twice before approving substance-free GLX and CLF comments?

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Voting is closed. 9

not what it says

My internet defines do-gooder as "a well-meaning but unrealistic or interfering philanthropist or reformer." That's not how I would describe A Better City, The Boston Foundation, and the Barr Foundation.

And I don't think the report says "Before the state expands the T, it should upgrade its existing services". It says we need to eliminate the State of Good Repair backlog, enhance core capacity of the rapid transit backbone, and a set of service enhancements (new infill stations, urban rail, regional rail, bus rapid transit, and better ferry service).

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Voting is closed. 44

Forget diesel engines. We

By on

Forget diesel engines. We need the commuter rail lines electrified. They'd have lower emissions and faster speeds. Also no more choking on toxic diesel fumes when a train goes by. Lets join the rest of the developed world in the 21st century.

The beginning of the report does a good job explaining why public transportation is a great investment especially compared to the disaster that is planning a city around cars.

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Voting is closed. 53

That's a lot of money

By on

That could be spent on things like switches and a better signaling system that could lead to decreased headways between trains.

Also, the emissions don't disappear. They just get concentrated in the areas around power plants. And since Pilgrim is shutting down, that's a lot of natural gas exhaust.

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Voting is closed. 35

re: emmision, centrally-sourced = better managed

By on

What you say about the concentration of emmisions in an electrified system is true. But centrally located emisions are far more easily managed and at a lower ultimate cost.

It also adds flexibility and robustness to the system because electrical devices, including trains, cannot tell the difference between electrons produced by a gas, coal, wind, or wave power plant.

Finally, in terms of immediate impact on individual human health, natural gas exhaust is less onerous than deisel (although, of course, mitigating the release of CO2 + assorted byproducts from any combustion is important).

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Voting is closed. 37

that's true for sure

but I do think fixing the existing infrastructure stuff like switches would be the best initial use of money over evolving the system to a new standard.

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Voting is closed. 35

Decarbonization

Check out the state's web pages - the electric generation sector has been substantially decarbonized. It is the transportation sector that is holding things up now.

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Good

By on

I'm glad to hear that natural gas does not contribute to global warming.

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Voting is closed. 23

Lol

By on

No where near the levels of other fossil fuels - you know, like diesel.

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Voting is closed. 20

True

By on

But when someone who works in environmental science notes that the Commonwealth has "decarbonized" electricity production, one has to note that the statement is at odds with the truth.

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thus the word

substantially, which means significant reduction, not elimination

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Voting is closed. 13

There's an implication

By on

That we don't need to worry about carbon now in electricity generation, which is not really true.

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Voting is closed. 9

Substantially? he asks again

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Places with good hydro or geothermal sources of electricity can say that, or nations like France where 90% of electricity production comes from carbon free sources. Massachusetts can say correctly that carbon emissions have decreased, but we still burn gas for most of our energy, and that produces greenhouse gases. As long as electricity production produces carbon emissions, I will continue to take issue with the phrase “substantially decarbonized.”

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Voting is closed. 7

There is a finite capacity to

By on

There is a finite capacity to diesels engine and their acceleration/speeds. Electric locomotives accelerate much, much faster. They are also an order of magnitude more reliable that diesels (as far as issues vs # miles) and last quite a bit longer, making it a wise investment into the future. BTW, do you have any actual sources where signaling and switches are a large limiting factor of time of trip and headways? I'll wait.

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Voting is closed. 18

Stadler DMUs do just fine for

By on

Stadler DMUs do just fine for acceleration and reliability. And federal regulators have shown willingness to allow them.

Once the concept of frequent, short trains is proven, and ridership increases while operating costs drop, we can look into electrification. Except of course on the Providence line, where we should deploy EMUs ASAP.

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Voting is closed. 14

I mean

By on

DMUs are nice and should be looked into, but, like the NEC is almost fully electrified already and should be EMUs and the Fairmont Line at least should be electrified for EMUs. The NEC is already crazy overcrowded, though, so increasing service on it will be tricking (and probably cause the death of the Needham line).

Other issue with running DMUs or EMUs will be that they will require either both the South Station Expand and North Station Expansion, or the NSRL (and probably both eventually) to be done to free up capacity at the end terminals - neither of which have capicity today for either EMUs or DMUs, and the NSRL would require EMUs and electrification of any lines using it.

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Voting is closed. 6

No

By on

BART built a diesel mu line that starts at the end of it's electrified service. Wherever the GLX ends, a diesel line can begin

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Voting is closed. 10

BART?

By on

What does that have to do with the price of milk? And, no, it can't - not at least with a much different station layout at the end of the line, and even then ops will be a nightmare (and service degraded where it used to directly be a one seat ride to North Station).

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Voting is closed. 8

By the way

By on

The line in question is not is service yet and runs on a dedicated right of way. It's kind of like the Mattapan High Speed Line. So I guess what he is thinking is to lay a dedicated line next to the Lowell Commuter Rail line with all the stations planned, just not connected to the Green Line at Lechmere and using diesel cars. I mean, what's not to like about that? All the costs plus more diesel emissions along the route.

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Voting is closed. 7

Multiple Units with a waiver

By on

Multiple units with a waiver mean the new trains can run on the same tracks as traditional commuter rail. Green line trolleys cannot. They need their own tracks. MUs + waiver means you don't need to build two new track lines or widen the existing commuter rail trenches. The T can save millions if not billions.

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Voting is closed. 13

Or

By on

And this might be a crazy idea, they could just build what they have signed contracts and accepted federal money for, which is what the people of Somerville by and large want.

By the way, how can you save "billions" on a $2 billion project?

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Brilliant

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Just Brilliant. I am kind of surprised at how this odd anti-GLX group (or single person) has instead latched onto DMUs as the alternative/their savior.

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Voting is closed. 8

Let's be honest

By on

It's a single person.

I could even track down his name. He replied to some article noting that if the GLX is built, the Lowell Line and Amtrak will be doomed because they would not be able to put in a third track. Of course, north of Medford they cannot put in a third track anyway, but since when should logic get in the way of an argument.

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Voting is closed. 7

Probably refers to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in California

By on

They built a diesel rail extension from their Pittsburg Park & Ride. Diesel train passengers get off at Pittsburg and transfer onto the electrified portion of BART. They could build something similar here. A diesel train that ends wherever the GLX begins. You get off the diesel train and onto the GLX. No need for North Station commuter rail bays

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Voting is closed. 8

Boston can use both low-floor and high-floor DMUs

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Some Massachusetts commuter rail lines still have low platforms. An example. You could run a low-floor DMU with waivers from the end of the GLX to Brandeis University on the Fitchburg Line. Each station between and including the GLX and Brandeis have low floors

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Voting is closed. 9

Maintenance and Priorities

By on

Before we get new engines, I'd like to see more investment in fixing rails and bridges, so that we have fewer sections with speed restrictions due to poor conditions.

I am excited to hear about more capacity on the Red and Orange lines, I hope this helps with stability and reliable service.

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Voting is closed. 18

Well we have one line that's

By on

Well we have one line that's already electrified, the Providence Line, since it used by Amtrak. So we could start by converting the commuter rail to EMUs on that line quite easily!

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Voting is closed. 22

Or even running it with electric locomotives

By on

I used my magic GPS watch to time the acceleration out of Route 128 station for two trains, an eight-car MBTA train and an eight-car Amtrak train. The MBTA train filled with passengers weighs about 18% more, but the Amtrak train has 86% more horsepower (8600 hp vs 4600) so it accelerates more quickly. It actually doesn't do better below 30 mph, this is where DMUs and EMUS rule the day, because they can distribute power over more wheels to prevent wheel slipping: they each get to 30 mph in about 25 seconds.

But above 30 mph, they diverge. The MBTA hits 40 mph in a minute, 60 in two minutes and 70 in four minutes climbing the hill after the Canton viaduct. Amtrak, on the other hand, continues to accelerate, 100 in four minutes and nearly 120 in three minutes. With the stop spacing on the Providence Line, an MBTA train with that sort of acceleration and a top speed of 100 would shave 10 minutes off the travel time between Providence and Boston, even making all of the stops it currently does.

Oh, and the electric locomotives are basically diesel locomotives with all of the stuff that doesn't work well stripped off since they get their power not from an on-board generator but from the wire above.

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Voting is closed. 32

Not to mention fewer fights

By on

Not to mention fewer fights with the neighbors about the hazards of diesel exhaust every time you want to increase or expand service.

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Voting is closed. 11

There's no before/after

By on

Don't pit one kind of mass transit supporter against another. We need both improvements on existing service, expansion of service 'between' lines of existing service, and to expand the MBTA to new areas in the 'burbs.

I might ride CR twice a year, but I support it. I would hope that folks around 128 also support an improved Red Line. Good investment in mass transit is economically wise and socially just, both in Boston proper and in the outskirts.

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Voting is closed. 50

Same ABC report : Celtics fans on a Dmu

By on

ABC comes out with the same report every five years. There's nothing to worry about. Few items moved under Patrick. Nothing is moving under Baker. In regards to their diesel multiple unit pitches, or dmu pitches, there's alot of bluster. Dmu fans tell you the vehicles will cure all of Boston's ills (they won't). Environmental groups like the ELM and CLF tell you the vehicles will destroy all of Boston in an instant (they won't). However, they can help in certain cases if Bostonians knew what a Dmu was. For example. A dozen of my co-workers went to the recent Celtics game in Toronto. They flew in and took the train from the airport to the arena in Downtown Toronto and back. When they returned I asked about their ride to the game. They praised the "bullet train" between the airport and the arena. I told them, that isn't a "bullet train", that's just a plain (and ugly) dmu train. It does its job and does it well. It has problems (like engine malfunctions) but I'm sure Bostonians dream of the day when they have one train breakdown per year. Maybe as more Celtics fans visit Toronto, the concept of what a dmu is will start to sink in.

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Voting is closed. 32

Yes

By on

The problem with the SCR project is that its a boondoggle - what $3+ Billion for a projected 4,570 daily riders. GLX, as an example, is a ~$2 Billion for a projected 52,000 daily riders.

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Voting is closed. 18

Not quite

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Increases in ridership from North Point would have been reflected in the model where nothing was done, since they would be using Lechmere Station which, you'd be surprised to find out, already exists in a location slightly to the west of the proposed station.

You should really visit Somerville some day. Union Square is happening. Tufts has a lot going for it. It's a really dense area. You know, the kind of place that could really benefit for a project like this.

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Voting is closed. 9

Nope

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Incorrect as Waquiot pointed out. BTW, Lechmere, even with the GLX needed to be redo either way. It is true, though, that some of the ridership will be cannibalized from existing bus users (generally that terminated at Lechmere), but, I mean thats the point right - better service than the existing buses.

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Voting is closed. 10

These are great ideas, but

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These are great ideas, but the real question is who is going to pay for this?

You can produce as many white papers as you want but it does no good unless you know how you are going to get the funds.

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Voting is closed. 31

Well the whole whose going to

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Well the whole whose going to pay for it issue and pitting basic upkeep that's been postponed for decades vs expansions that have been proposed for decades doesn't happen with highway projects. How did the route 2 expansion, or the 128 expansion get paid for, what basis upkeep was cancelled for that. How is the billion dollar turnpike project in Allston getting paid for. Certainly not the gas tax, that has only increased a few cents over the past few decades, while the t has doubled in that time.

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Voting is closed. 35

If you read the report...

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...you will see that they are not so much suggesting additional money overall for transit, but rather a reconsideration of where the current Commonwealth transportation budget is directed. Their thesis is that the current scheme is unbalanced, inefficient and unsustainable; that is to say - more costly than what is neccessary for an effective transportation network.

Reader's Digest version: The report says that right now we are spending more to get less.

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Voting is closed. 36

Maybe local governments

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Maybe local governments should pay to maintain tracks the same way local governments are responsible for maintaining roads.

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Voting is closed. 16

I think it's high time the

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I think it's high time the colleges, universities and sports teams start kicking in their fare share.

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Voting is closed. 16

Show me the money

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Excellent report and some great ideas but the Feds aren't funding transit projects like they use to so where is the money coming from?

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Voting is closed. 18

What's especially sad is the

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What's especially sad is the 30% "improvement" on the Orange Line simply brings service back up to the level of the late 1980s, which operated with the exact same trains and exact same tracks that we have now, back when the trains were still new and reliable and the tracks were faster. I'm not sure why they now need almost 30% more trains to provide the same service that they did in 1988, but I suspect it's because of "temporary" slowdowns that slowly become permanent.

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Voting is closed. 26

I think you missed something

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They are ordering new Orange Line trains, so it would not be the exact same trains. It would be entirely different trains.

And if you cannot figure out what they want to up the capacity of the Orange Line by 30%, you haven't been riding the Orange Line.

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Voting is closed. 22

What he is saying is that in

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What he is saying is that in 1987, with the same 120 trains from 1980 we have now, they were running trains every 4.5 minutes instead of the present every 6 minutes. In a few years, with 152 new trains, we will be improving the frequency from the present every 6 minutes, back to what it was in 1987. With 32 more cars, you might think they could improve the frequency to something even better than what it already once was 30 years ago.

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Voting is closed. 23

I don't think the orange line

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I don't think the orange line ever hit that (on schedule) after the El came down - the new fleet was undersized. The new headways is what it always was supposed to be if we had ever had the correct number of cars to do it.

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Voting is closed. 19

Coordination of trains can help

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There often are trains that run too close together resulting in trains that are infrequent. It will be a waste if new trains replicate the same pattern.

Same applies to buses. It is demoralizing when 39 buses leave Forest Hills bunched together, 2 and even occasionally 3 buses minutes after each other.

Leads one to think no one is paying attention.

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Voting is closed. 23

They already do this.

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They already do this.

People complain that trains are bunched up.

The MBTA holds the second train for a schedule adjustment.

People complain that their train is standing by "for no good reason".

--

Bunching is largely a function of crowding. The schedule depends on short dwells at stations - open the doors, close them again 20 seconds later, and you're off. But when the trains and platforms are so crowded that it takes 2-3 minutes to get a train through a single station stop, it falls behind schedule, causing larger crowds to build up on platforms farther down, causing the train to fall farther behind. Meanwhile, it has taken a disproportionate load at each stop, leaving fewer people for the trains behind it to pick up, letting them have shorter dwells, and thus catch up to it.

The new trains should help a bit, in that they have more doors per car, which should cut down on dwells. But the bunching problem is going to still happen now and then.

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Voting is closed. 13

Kind of

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The Orange Line actually keeps the same number of doors, but they are significantly wider - a wheel chair can fit through a single leaf of the door in the new ones. They will actually be, afaik, the widest doors on any rapid transit system. There are some good studies from London, HK, and I think NYC that actually show significant dwell time reductions from these wider doors, and the MBTA took that and went even further. The red line has the same thing - but it standardizes now on 4 sets of doors for everything.

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Voting is closed. 9

Yawn...

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Discussions have been going on since the early 1980's to extend the Blue Line into Lynn and Salem.

38 years later, where is it...

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Voting is closed. 19

But Big Dig Baker likes cars not public transit

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But in that 38 years, theres been tons of expansions of the highways built in greater Boston, most of them free! We are looking to Houston as a model instead of a transit oriented city. Even LA has added over a hundred miles of new light rail. Baker is focused on the MA pike in Allston project while he cancels/delays transit projects. Its what he knows, he was pretty central in the Big Dig, especially some of the flim flam aspects with the cost.

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Voting is closed. 26

They missed one important issue

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Where is the affordable housing in MA?

Worcester
New Bedford
Leominster
Gardner
etc.

Much easier to build ways for people to rapidly get to those place than it is to build enough affordable housing inside that little special service area.

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Voting is closed. 27

The T is spending a fortune

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The T is spending a fortune on 500 hyper-bright digital signs... what a colossal waste of money that could have been spent to improve service.

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Voting is closed. 18

Pretty sure those are being

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Pretty sure those are being paid for by the contractor that handles advertising, rather than by the T itself (though I may be mistaken).

Also, the cost of a few hundred LCD screens would still only buy you maybe 1 new subway car.

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Voting is closed. 16

But I'm old!

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And if I think that anything involving technology must be horrifically expensive YOU MUST BELIEVE THAT!

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Voting is closed. 12

One thing that annoyed me about the report

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Since when has there been something called "the Hyde Park Villages." I'm fairly certain the area is called "Hyde Park," and has been called that since at least 1868.

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Voting is closed. 20

They did this

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when discussing the GLX extension too, on one of the maps.. I think they were just trying to specify the various squares in the neighborhood.

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Voting is closed. 16

Funny

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About a month ago I received a message on my flickr about getting the rights to some of the photos I've taken. Was a woman from this group.

I didn't think of it until this afternoon when she sent me a copy of this report.

Then I sit down to dinner and I see Adam's post.

Hmmm

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Voting is closed. 21

Oh

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But it's a nice photo. Your photo will probably be one of those go-to photos of the project.

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Voting is closed. 15

Yes

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Which reminds me. It's time for another photo set soon. Probably the last photo set before it opens in April.

I wanna try to get a tour again but my daytime time is limited to be missing from work.

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Voting is closed. 20

My plan

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First fix transit within the urban part of metro Boston. An urban ring rapid transit line and a new link between North Station, South Station and the Seaport are needed badly. Then, rather than extending the present rapid transit lines, turn the Commuter Rail system into a grade separated semi- rapid transit system along the lines of the BART in the Bay Area. For instance, if Lynn had frequent and fast service to Boston via this service, there would be no need to extend the Blue Line there. Of course, an expensive link between North and South Station must be built, enabling through service throughout the region. To pay for this, increase the gas tax by a quarter and charge all Uber-style trips an extra buck. Everybody can't drive into Boston, which means the T is vital to our city's success. It's time to take the hit and start investing. However, like many people, I don't have much confidence in the present MBTA management. Before I'd give them more money, I'd insist on some major changes.

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Voting is closed. 22