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Turns out the Green Line Extension wasn't fully baked

WBUR updates us on the latest round of MBTA repair shutdowns, which include shutting down the brand-spanking-new Green Line Extension for the first two weekends in June, because it turns out the T started running trains on it even though it wasn't completely done. The work involves various stuff along the tracks, not the still unopened community path in Somerville.

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Comments

The T is going to have to come up with a new PR statement instead of" The problems stem from the fact the MBTA green line is the oldest subway line in the US."

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It's the newest light rail line in the country so it's bound to have a few problems.™

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He wanted a ribbon cutting before he left town, the hell with any consequences.

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There should have been a ribbon cutting years or decades ago. Had they completed the project not long after the big dig, as promised, it would have been significantly cheaper. And residents would have had it for at least a decade longer.

I blame Baker for the lack of oversight. For hiring a guy who thought he could monitor capital projects in Massachusetts from a vacation home in Hawaii.

I also blame Patrick and Romney since they too kicked the ball hard in the wrong direction.

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From an extasy indiced Blink 182 concert

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A train every 20 minutes, often only one car, that has to stop at North Station anyway because they'll be taking that Government Center garage down until 2315

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Too bad there isn't a new bike path nearby so people could use that instead.

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Without knowing too much, I believe the conversation is probably something along the lines of:

T: Can we pretty please open the Community Path?
Regulators: Uh, does it comply with the ADA?
T: It almost complies.
Regulators: So could someone in a wheelchair use it?
T: Sort of.
Regulators: That's a yes or no question.
T: Then no, but almost!
Regulators: Fix it
T: You mean, like Charlie Baker fixed the T?
Regulators: *Facepalm*

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...this solution doesn't work for everyone anyway.

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so that solution doesn't work for everyone either.

Turns out we need multiple solutions!

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That garage is a mess. You can blame the T for letting them build the garage in the first place in the '60s (but that's probably the MTA) and blame the T for the complete lack of transparency about how long it will take (another year, by some accounts) but evidently after that guy died last year tearing it down they found out that it was basically playing jenga blind. Apparently the as-built drawings and the actual condition have nothing to do with each other, and there are random multi-ton concrete blocks which can change the balance of beams or cause floors to, you know, pancake without prior warning. I was up in the JFK building the other day and looked out and they are actually adding steel to the top of the structure to stabilize it as they tear it down. Not exactly a speedy teardown.

Why the Green Line and not the Orange Line? The Green Line runs to the west of the Orange Line, and the old Haymarket Station has pilings through it and structure directly above. So they can safely run the Orange Line: if something collapses, it falls near it. But for the Green Line, if something collapses, it falls directly on it.

What you can jointly blame this project and the T for is last year's Orange Line shutdown fiasco. The following is a bit of a conspiracy theory but it's, let's say, informed. You may remember that last year the T was planning to shut down the portion of the Orange Line from Wellington to Oak Grove for a month for track work. Annoying, yes, but with Commuter Rail service at Malden and Oak Grove plus buses outside the core of the city, not the end of the world.

Then the collapse plus the Orange Line fire (electrical arcing, which had to do with the old train but not the track) gave them this opening to shut down the whole line, which would have the added benefit of letting HYM pull down the garage for 30 days straight. Once you've shut down Wellington north and North Station south, you can't really run any service, because you can't store and operate trains south of Wellington, so all you'd be running is Wellington to Community College which is barely worthwhile.

So we got a head start on the garage, right? Wrong! First of all, it was a BS reason because as we see now, they can work on the garage without the Orange Line being closed. Second of all, they didn't actually do any work on the garage during that time, because of other safety issues that were found. So they shut down the Orange Line with plans to work north of Wellington and under the garage and no other real plans, scrounged up a few more work crews but didn't really fix anything, spent more on Orange Line shuttles than on regular bus service for a month, declared mission accomplished, and it took months for things to get back to where they were beforehand. Oh, and they didn't keep records on anything so when the new DPU came in a few months later they had to blanket slow order the system anyway.

This was Charlie Baker at work! Do nothing, claim victory, and use his inexplicable popularity (oh, wait, white male privilege) to show that he was doing the best job that he could. Meanwhile we spent tens of millions of dollars to get nothing done.

2315 might be somewhat of an exaggeration. From what I hear it needs work every weekend for a year. So … somewhat.

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I blame the MBTA for not being honest and blaming the need for unrelated shutdowns on the garage.

It's hard to believe the T when they are constantly changing what they blame is the problem for the shutdowns and slowdowns.

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The T press release includes the diddy "MBTA crews will also perform additional work along the East Cambridge Viaduct"

So the viaduct they completely rebuilt. Then had to shut down for a few months for 'adjustments due to settling after operating for all of 6 months. Now it needs yet additional work?

What kind od idiots does the T hire? What yet additional work needs to happen?

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asked "why a duck", and they had to have a special subcommittee task force study the question - and the duck.

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the viaduct they shut down in 2004, 2011 and 2020-2022 and still managed not to fix? The one which their documents says is to rebuilt for 50 mph operation but they are now aiming for just 25?

What kind of idiots does the T hire? What yet additional work needs to happen?

Republican hacks. And it would be nice if the T had a sliver of transparency.

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Don't throw garbage out of the car.

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