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$700 million shaved off Green Line Extension costs; will that be enough?

Ball Square proposed Green Line station

Ball Square proposal, then and now. See it larger.

MBTA and MassDOT staff today presented plans for a $2.3-billion Green Line Extension that would keep the originally planned seven stations but would eliminate amenities such as fully enclosed waiting rooms, escalators, fare gates and, at several stations, elevators and stairs.

The proposal would also cut in half the size of a maintenance facility - and shorten the length of a proposed community path alongside the tracks. Several bridges that had been originally slated for complete replacement will instead stay as is, due to changes in track alignments.

A key part of the savings would be roughly $204 million in the fees paid to contractors and consultants to oversee the work.

Last week, Somerville and Cambridge officials vowed to seek local approval to pour $75 million into the extension to keep it afloat - including money already committed by the developer of the North Point project towards relocating and improving the Lechmere station.

Even with the savings, the project is still roughly $300 million above what was once supposed to be a $1.92 billion cost - $1 billion of which would come from the federal government. Staffers suggested looking for fill the gap with contributions from local businesses that would benefit from the new trolley line and from the city of Medford.

GLX presentation - Slideshow, highlights changes to account for savings (3.4M PDF)
GLX report - More details information (6M PDF)

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          ( Better yet, just eliminate fares entirely and make the free to ride. )

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Simple solution is to require the (future development by others) to include an enclosed accessible lobby with faregates. Let private developers pick up the tab for improving the line once basic service has been established to attract new development.

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Was just in Seattle and took a couple rides on the Link and the First Hill Streetcar. Both of these new systems use proof of payment (POP) as does the Sounder commuter rail system and the T seriously needs to consider switching to it. Apparently they only have an evasion rate of ~3% which I would guess is similar if not better than evasion rates on the surface level green line. Any expansion and future fare system should be built around POP instead of old antiquated forms of fare collection.

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Do you seriously expect any real consideration to be given to POP from the same folks who bring us the moronic "Fare is Fair™" operations on the commuter rail?

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The FMCB has made public statements in favor of POP or a POP-like system for the next generation of fare collection. Obviously implementation of these priorities is highly suspect (after all, a rapid transit/high-speed trolley extension through Somerville was proposed in the early 20th century), but there's a sound economy to be gained by making the switch. The political process could very well be: 1. promote the idea that fare evasion is hurting the system, 2. pass off solutions like the "Fare is Fair" as inadequate stop-gaps, 3. make the argument that something must be done™ and then, 4. implement POP as a solution rather than an upgrade.

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Political process actually likely to work:

1) Stress that POP punishes evaders much more harshly, allude to tickets covering MBTA expenses sometime in the future

2) Promise that police unions will get to do the ticketing, allude to unlimited overtime for them

3) Hammer in the fact over and over that a quick functioning T means less car traffic for legislators to compete with in the morning.

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Its easier to come up with a list of light rail systems that dont operate on PoP. PoP is the norm.

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...I half expect them to institute left-hand running after Lechmere in order to put the front (farebox) doors on the correct side of the platforms.

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One of the most economically prosperous regions in the world.

But we cant afford shelters and escalators.

No problem, if it rains, the riders should just take a limo to work

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Sorry if I was too vague!

What they're eliminating (except at Lechmere, I think) is the idea of a station akin to the Green Line stops downtown - an enclosed space with fare gates and all that. Instead, Extension riders will get what riders on all the other lines already have outside downtown: Bus shelters.

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And it never snows or gets cold around here.

(not directed at you Adam - not shooting the messenger - just tired of the morons that dreamed up the ridiculous message in the first place).

As the poster - said - how can this be so outrageously expensive that it's unaffordable to one of the wealthiest metropolitan regions in the world. Something's seriously wrong if that's really true.

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Because we do not charge enough for rail service that is how.

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Really? Tell us, then, how much should a ride on the Green Line cost? $3? $5? $10?

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It should cover the majority of costs to operate the line, currently T fares do not even cover salaries. That is outrageous. A 5$ rush hour fare would not be out of line and would remain the cost leader.

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I agree. I'm all in favor of T riders paying for their rides.

As soon as drivers pay the full cost of operating several tons of metal machinery on public roads, and as soon as city residents pay several hundred dollars a month for parking their cars on said public roads.

And surely drivers benefit too from a well-functioning mass transit system, no? So I say they chip in their fare share too.

Deal?

What a moronic statement by someone who seemingly has no clue about how much general taxes subside drivers.

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I am good with that. If the gas tax solely went to fund the roads and the gas tax is inadequate it should be increased.

However the reality is the gas tax is siphoned to fund other things here in MA.

One should not assume they know anothers opinion as you did mine. Use fees should cover use costs.

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We need to shut down the schools immediately. You know those freeloading kids arent paying a DIME of the costs?

And dont get me started on parks. The fact that they arent all encircled by fare gates makes my blood boil. Do you think that grass is free?

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We charge use fees on roads and transit methods for a reason. We do not charge use fees for schools for a reason.

Are you really arguing that use fees covering the services costs are unreasonable? Should the T be free? Should we not raise the gas tax to cover the cost of building and maintaining roads?

Who is going to pay for all of these things?

Would you like to have a serious discussion or would you rather debate strawmen? I can debate strawmen too if you like.

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We charge use fees on roads …

We do? Did I miss the toll booths on 93 and 128 and Storrow Drive? Have I neglected all these years to send in the annual statement with my car's odometer readings so that I can pay my tax that's directly proportional to how much I have driven?

Or are you suggesting that transit riders should somehow pay close to the full cost of the service they receive while drivers continue to get a mostly free ride?

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Are you familiar with the MA gas tax?

Mostly free ride base on what exactly? IF the MA gas tax is not sufficient to cover costs (that has not been demonstrated) it should be raised.

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It pays for about 30% of your driving. If you ignore the costs of your pollution and your need for emergency services, etc.

READ THIS AND LEARN SOMETHING: http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-user-fees-pay-only-h...

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Do you really want the cost of gas to reflect the true costs of driving?

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/01/the-real-reason-us-gas-is-so-chea...

And besides, why should the cost of driving be even pegged to how much gasoline one consumes? As cars become more and more fuel-efficient, is the wear-and-tear they cause to roadways and the urban real estate they occupy in traffic and while parked getting any cheaper?

Are T fares pegged to the cost of fuel?

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Do you really want the cost of gas to reflect the true costs of driving?

YES.

And based on MA revenue numbers (09) we are not that far off. About 60mil underfunded. How many of those dollars do not go directly to the roads is the real question.

http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy2009h1/exec2_09/hbudbrief18.htm

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How do you account for electrics, hybrids and other vehicles that get high miles-per-gallon?

Otherwise, you're shifting the tax burden to people who can only afford older, low mileage vehicles.

Do you think that's fair?

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Gas taxes will likely have to shift to direct per mile use fees. Is it fair currently? No. Should it be fixed? Yes.

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The heavier something is, the more resources it takes to power it and the more damage it does to the roads. A bike does almost no damage whereas a big, loaded truck will cause potholes. The bike uses no gas, the truck (even a new efficient one) uses lots of gas.

Passenger cars are in the middle but your normal Prius isn't heavy enough to cause a tremendous amount of damage so the current fuel tax is fair. Electric vehicles can be taxed the same way via their charging apparatus.

Fuel taxes make sense. What doesn't make sense is how low their are, especially considering the massive discount consumers are currently getting on gasoline.

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I take no major issue with anything you write. The size issue is largely made up for in fuel efficiency deviation however with the advent of electric etc a new tax model is needed.

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And what are those reasons? Id love to hear your justification on why parks should be free but transit should be at cost.

Should the T be free? No. The reason is because free encourages abuse. The T is space constrained during peak periods, so charging a fare reducing the incidence of joy rides which take up space for no reason.

But theres no reason the fare should be more than $1.

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So people in other parts of the state should subsidize a regionally specific service why?

The world and state does not revolve around your daily commute.

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Jackass.

Or do you really think that they all came up with 60 million dollars to fix their bridges out of their own pockets?

Silly jackass.

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Unless you want to actually pay the full cost of your use of the commons, that is.

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Are you illiterate? More than once I have stated in this very thread I supported increasing the gas tax.

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I dont have kids. WTF am I subsidizing some little shits trying to learn algebra?

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Debating a strawman again?

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You keep saying that but you clearly dont understand what it means.

The fact is, youre clearly one of those me-first libertarians.

If its a service you use, like a road or park, then it damn well should be paid for by all means possible. But if its something you personally dont see a direct benefit from, then it should be abolished.

In other words, there is no point in considering this conversation. Im sure my dog understand a functional society better than you do.

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Hang on I am a ME first libertarian calling for the roads I drive on to have a use fee that reflects the costs of building them? lol.

You however are a noble we the people type, demanding someone else pay for your service... Got it.

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"If its a service you use, like a road or park, then it damn well should be paid for by all means possible. "

I have repeatedly stated I would support an increase in the gas tax. Why are you debating a strawman? Because I sure did not say that.

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I guess we'll never know what the reason is when you said "We do not charge use fees for schools for a reason. "

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So ignoring my point and instead want to debate schools? No retraction on your completely false claims wrt my positions?

We do not charge a use fee for schools to ensure they are accessible to all. A use fee on rail does not do so in fact it does the opposite. A higher use fee allows for more dollars to be available to support the transit of those in need while also increasing the services available to all.

If the Green line extension came alongside higher fares the cost of the program would go down and it would be approved MUCH faster.

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Your argument is seriously that doubling the fare does not impact how accessible transit is?

Really?

Really?

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An increase in revenue increases the dollars available to subsidize rides of the poor and needy. Complicated subject for you?

An increase in the fare also helps ensure rapid approval of NEW transit methods INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY to all.

Why can you not stay on track?

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I think this is the most indented comment I've ever seen on here. I wonder how deep you can get before it stops indenting.

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Perhaps we'll just have to keep posting until we find out.

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Small words are small.

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Some users aren't paying their share of the UHub commenting tax, causing it to indent even more at the expense of those who don't comment as often.

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"But if its something you personally dont see a direct benefit from, then it should be abolished."

STRAWMAN

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Who should pay for the costs if not the users of the programs?

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...who COULD potentially use said programs. In short, everyone.

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Great, so when they use the program charge the market rate. Just as if they use the roads the market rate should be charged.

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Just like heath care and education should be [but often are not in our backwards nation] using public transit should be virtually free [but subsist heavily on tax dollars]. You're not supposed to make money or even break even when running public transit. You're supposed to rely on taxes to meet the budget.

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"Infrastructure Is A Right Not A Privilege"

That is hilarious. SO do western mass have a cause to sue?

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Considering how many people live there and how much that region pays in taxes, they get more than their fare share of infrastructure.

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I stopped using the T because ethe service was total shit (about 2002)and getting worse ( a short time late Grabowskis [sp?] came out and admited they cut service when they were telling people they hadn't). The service was shit because they wern't taking in enough money. they don't take in enough money because there isn't enough ridership and the classic fre evasion scapegoat.
The circle continues, on and on.
People can all yella t each other and point the blame here or there, or cite this or that as the reasons why, raise this tax, double that fare.
The absolute bottom line is that the T is fucked, and state needs to look at that fact square in the eye and say it's gonna fix, and take the financial hit for it JUST THIS ONCE to right the ship.
Get the existing T infastructure up to snuff, finish the GL extension, eat the losses, and then focus on MAINTAINING what is there, grandfather the pensions, create new contracts with the unions and whatnot, and make the system VIABLE and SOLVENT.

Everyone will piss and moan, what else is new? The suburbs and the rural towns will be pissed, what else is new? The fact is that Transit and Energy are the two top priorities the commonweath should be focused on, and they intersect at many junctions. The MBTA has many rights of way and a lot of land holdings throughout the state. Why are there no windmills at any of these places? Built into their T stations? Why isn't every MBTA building covered in solar panels? They could invest in decreasing their costs over the long run. Had they done it 10-15 years ago (the tech was still available then) then those windmills/solar panels today would be paying profits already! Delayed returns is no excuse, even delayed returns are RETURNS, not just throwing money away.
Why does every T station I go to have either no vendors or a boarded up old spot where a vendor USED to be. T, rent out your space for cryin out loud! The same goes for the city, there are many avenues of revenue they are not actively pursuing and instead its "Raise fares! Raise taxes!" Cripes, work what you've got first! They're not even TRYING.

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How much joy do you get from riding an overloaded train?

Do you really want people to commute by means other than the T at rush hour, because the T is too expensive?

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Check some actual data sources - what you pay into the system, and what you get out as a car owner are waaaaayyyy different.

You pay in 60 cents, and get a dollar in services in MA.

Pay your share already!

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/4...

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So raise the tax. Why are you assuming I am against it.

Your numbers are a bit off. The gas tax is underfunded but not by much.

http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy2009h1/exec2_09/hbudbrief18.htm

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Here you go. 60mil underfunded. Raise the tax to close the gap. Again operating on the faulty assumption I oppose an increase in the gas tax.

http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy2009h1/exec2_09/hbudbrief18.htm

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You should also pay a surcharge on gas for climate change adaptations and air pollution health effects.

Those half million climate refugees in MA alone by mid century aren't going to relocate themselves, nor will those roads rebuild themselves when the water comes.

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However the reality is the gas tax is siphoned to fund other things here in MA.

100% nope. Gasoline taxes and user fees pay only half of state and local road spending.

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Fares of $82m, costs of $166m. That's pretty much majority (it was higher in 2013—90/150—so may be a reporting issue).

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Prefab bus shelters with electric heaters are way cheaper (and more effective at providing shelter) than giant glass boxes and platforms with full canopies.

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Bull on the "more effective at providing shelter". Cheaper, sure, but this is one of those situations you get what you pay for.

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The structures at Silver Line Washington Street stops are custom-built art projects, not shelters. Besides being way overpriced, it's obvious at first glance that they're useless since they have no walls.

I was suggesting something like this: http://www.duo-gard.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bus_shelter_sartaresi...

They're very helpful for passengers. That's why so many (other) cities have them.

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The red, blue, and orange line have more than bus shelters outside of downtown. The green line stations outside of downtown cause delays and result in lots of lost fares because they require on board payment, why replicate something that is causing lots of problems elsewhere on the T?

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That the T continues to push back against proof-of-payment fare collection elsewhere, but is proposing center platforms w/o faregates. Those two things don't really go together.

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The Costco bus shelters arent anyone's idea of good. One of the reasons people prefer rail to bus is because they associate bus service with abysmal comfort. Waiting outside, in the snow, with biting wind, and 2 feet of roof with nothing on the sides? Why would anyone want to own a car with this as the alternative?

Is Baker one of those "run it like a business" types?

Because I cant imagine any successful business putting "customer comfort" last on the list of priorities.

It would be like cutting A/C from the budget when you're building a mall. Yeah, Im sure the cost savings will lead to much success.

Cost cutting is important. But cutting amenities that build ridership is foolish.

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...isn't the model, you could build plenty of nice, functional canopies for relatively short dollars. Me thinks the elimination of anything that smacks of a roof is done mostly to emphasize how austere the new plans look.

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The austere, hostile designs of the T's benches, bus shelters, Silver Line canopies, and sometimes actual stations (particularly the new generation of Commuter Rail) do a disservice to everyone and is embarrassing. They don't make 'em like Allston Depot anymore - at least, in this state.

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Who? The people who plan on using the station for its intended purpose, without being harassed by those who live in the station, who are using the station as a shooting gallery, and who are using the station as a toilet?

I've spent enough time in San Francisco to greatly appreciate the hostile architecture Boston has, and to see how greatly it's benefitted me and my personal freedom to be able to catch the first train at 5 am or the last train after midnight, without having to stand there in utter fear, hoping the train comes quickly.

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The people who want to wait for the train in the rain, or the cold, or who are pregnant, or who are temporarily or permanently handicapped, or the people who just want a comfortable place to sit and wait for a little bit. Those people.

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How many millions of dollars are allocated for flagmen or police details? If Cambridge, the state and Somerville are each contributing to the project which department gets the lucrative work?

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Given that the route goes along an existing rail right-of-way for the most part and now that they've decided against ripping out and replacing several bridges, I'm not thinking that's going to be much of a cost.

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...for commuter rail work, which will be a good portion of the project. Not police details, but part of the costs include flagpersons to protect against train movements through the work area (so the Lowell Line can continue to function).

(But this is something of a technicality.)

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Bakers latest plan delays restarting construction 18 months, conveniently after the next election. So he follows in a long line of Republican governors who dither and delay on promised public transit projects. It also acknowldges that his dithering will cost $1.6 million for every month it is delayed. That's 27 million MORE (after the 10 months already past, another 16 million).
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/09/green-line-extension-plan-fa...
Plus, the new stripped down stations look like they wont have fare collection, meaning it will be the broken on board style that results in millions of lost revenue on the existing green line above ground stops.
Short term Charlie, like the Republicant party as a whole, is all about the immediate time and the next election, instead of seeing the benefit of investing in our state the way previous generations did.

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Gated concourses allow for the ability to open all doors and know that every rider has paid to ride. You get both more revenue and faster boarding and alighting.

It looks like this is a step backwards in that regard -- now every rider has to tap when entering, which means that you get less fare collection during rush hour because it's impossible to require front door only access on a packed train, and you get longer times stopped at the station on nights/weekends because you've got to squeeze all folks onto the front door entrances.

Piss poor.

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And they even plan on making money with the project.

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Our dollars or theirs?

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That is 4.2 billion in US dollars if that is Canadian dollars. Talk about bang for their buck.

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GLX at 1.9 Billion 441 million per mile
MTL at 4.25 billion 101 million per mile

At least we're not as bad as NYC. 2nd ave subway 2.3 BILLION PER MILE

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because the Boston-Montreal HSR corridor was designated in 2000 (note where I had to get that link from, for crying out loud!), and since we started construction in a timely manner (and produced thousands of jobs during the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression), it's already done!

I'm so glad that we live in a forward-thinking place where infrastructure improvements are made to facilitate continued economic growth, rather than being put off thereby foregoing the growth that went somewhere else because no one here could get anywhere in a reasonably timely way!

/snark

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Why do you we need a HSR train when buses and planes already provide faster or cheaper service for current passenger loads without spending billions extra?

The Green Line extension makes sense because there's no way to improve bus service significantly enough in Somerville, Cambridge, or Medford to handle the same passenger capacity in that area.

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Rail through sparsely populated regions is not really the most effective use of travel dollars. The northeast regional is successful due to the high density along it. Boston-Montreal would have a whole lot of nothing in between the two. Making the costs difficult to recoup.

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It was an example of the failed national policy on HSR, but point taken.

Perhaps a better example. Why does it still take 3.5 hours go the 200 miles between here and NYC by train, when it takes just over 2 hours to go the ~250 (route) miles between London and Paris (under the fricken English Channel/La Manche)?

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Mostly too many stops and speed limits.

I take the Northeast regional often, Acela a bit less often. The Acela is not able to stretch its legs and it is only faster because it is essentially an express train.

The NER is however faster than the closest competition (flying) city center to city center. I as a frequent rider am not convinced a faster rail service is warranted, at least not when costs are factored in.

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Plus the London-Paris Eurostar is significantly slower than other true high-speed lines in Europe.

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Notwithstanding my earlier comment, it is interesting to note who is paying for that project (the Quebec pension fund manager).

Even though the fund manager is the primary investor on this project, they are typically more of one of a consortium, public and private. It would be nice if the Globe or someone else would do some stories on the funding model, especially since......

the Chairman of the FMCB for the T is the Director of Business Development (North America) for Meridiam Infrastructure, a French outfit that partners with other public and private entities to develop and manage infrastructure projects (e.g., the recently opened Port of Miami Tunnel).

Now, I suppose that the Governor's appointment of him as Chair was mere happenstance.

We are missing the window, people. I'll say it again for the 980th time: we are choking on our own success around here, and unless we do something to improve the transport infrastructure we'll be asphyxiated.

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We are missing the window, people. I'll say it again for the 980th time: we are choking on our own success around here, and unless we do something to improve the transport infrastructure we'll be asphyxiated.

Way too far down the thread, but an excellent point. San Francisco is spending $1.5 billion on a light rail (but really, subway) line connecting the main train station to downtown and beyond. It's a big deal, akin to, say, building the Red-Blue Connector and a connection from Back Bay to the Seaport. Seattle just spent $2 billion extending their light rail in a subway to serve the university there and it's so popular that, for the first time, Seattlites are having to learn how to behave on crowded trains. (Luckily, Somervillians will have plenty of practice when/if GLX opens.) New York is building the SAS (finally) and the East Side Access, neither of which is cheap, but both of which will dramatically increase connectivity (they do have to address the Hudson tubes, though).

DC is effed, but that's another story.

We can't decide whether to invest this much money to help take stress off the transit system (yes, indeed: GLX will pull riders off of the Orange and Red lines which certainly need it) because we see it as a cost, not an investment. Of course, the Seattle project came in 10% under budget, maybe we could bring in their project team to learn us how to do *that*.

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Does the Americans With Disabilities Act apply to any of this?

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Yes.

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The saved money is already being spent by our politicians on the North Shore.
In Lynn they'd like 15 million for modifications to a station at the old GE plant. This is to essentially to build a station with access to one developers housing project. The project's not even built yet but it's sounding like someones sweet deal.

They'd also like like a $6 billion dollar boost to extend the Blue Line, apparently right past that station to the main Lynn station. In the last weeks they praised a water shuttle for drowning any free cash I had and threw millions at that.

It's like piranha's all tearing at my wallet and forgetting my quality of life matters.

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I suppose you complain about traffic congestion, too.

But never, of course, about the heavy subsidies we all pay for Western Mass and their massive amounts of roadways per taxpayer.

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So, someone looking to board the Green Line at Ball Square will go down a covered ramp, across the tracks at a relatively safe point, then wait on a platform that looks like most of the Riverside Line stops.

Sure, it's not the best configuration, but if you've ever been to Mass Ave, Roxbury Crossing, or Green St Stations, have you ever wondered why the room ends about 4 cars down? It's because they needed to save money. The original design for Forest Hills was akin to Ruggles meets Quincy Adams (though with less parking.) The final result saved millions, and until they started ruining it in the past year, I do not recall complaints about the final design.

If it gets built, that's the most important outcome.

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It's because an enclosed space would have allowed for faregates - now it's going to be similar to the outer reaches of the GL, requiring everyone to tap as they get on like it's a bus. It's going to significantly slow down the system for the entirety of the system's lifespan, whereas spending a lot on enclosed stations would at some point be paid off and a quick boarding system lasts for the lifetime of the track.

Ultimately though I guess as long as it actually gets built, they could theoretically renovate it years down the line. Cancelling it completely would also be a death knell for other expansion that's going to have to happen eventually (blue to Lynn, OLX replacing the Needham line), so...

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There are so many replies to replies that my phone formats them all as single character lines and they are ten columns outside the right margin.

It has everything to be the ultimate post on uhub... The T, budget issues, and urban design deficiencies. I think the only way this post could get more replies from uhubbers would be if the GLX was partially in Boston and the mayor's office was involved.

FWIW I just think of all the orange line platforms that are miserable leaky messes after 30 years of neglect. Putting in easily replaceable bus shelters instead makes sense given the uncertainties of the maintenance backlog 5, let alone 30 years from now.

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My daughter started complaining about it pretty much as soon as I picked her up from the train yesterday (yes, she's a dedicated UHub reader).

I need to set aside some time to fiddle with things such as less spacing for nested comments, at least in the templates for the mobile version, since it seems like that's where the problem really is. Short of that, the answer would be eliminating threaded discussions entirely and just going with a "flat" system (where all replies would just go at the bottom of the thread, instead of letting you reply to specific comments), but that has some issues, too, even if readability wouldn't be one of them.

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Dear God no.

NO

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While everyone is working to break the comment system here to being unreadable with context, there's some analysis on the thread on archboston.

The most interesting aspect is the fact this savings of cost is entirely done by cuts. The entire calculation is still used the same calculation the previous contractor was using that was inflating construction and tracking towards the $1BN over-budget that triggered this panic button.

Ignoring how awful they are still calculating using the same inflated numbers, this also means when bidding actually comes, it may come far under the estimate. Or means we're in a good position to go under-budget and thus bring back some of stuff being cut.

But that assumes that we start calculating estimate by the real cost rather than re-using their inflated numbers. Something I'm not sure we're going to do despite officials saying the this whole thing is caused by contractors ripping us off. Yet, this estimate is based entirely they they will continue to rip us off.

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Maybe the T should bring in their own Professional Estimator to double check the contractor's. Especially when there are so many question marks around this effort.

Or, are the numbers truly inflated? I haven't looked at them to compare them to my previous projects. Costs have been going up, as we all know. Estimators keep an eye on escalation and do their best to project forward what that figure may be.

Is this project CM at Risk? That may be the reason no second estimator has been brought in to compare. It would be doubling the estimator costs (CM's estimator + Owner's estimator), but short money to be certain things are (or at least look) reasonable.

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According to the docs, the sidewalks on the Broadway bridge will be removed. How does that makes sense? Especially considering that will be immediately adjacent to the new station!

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