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Opening of Green Line Extension slips

The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership reports officials announced today that the Union Square stub line is now scheduled to open in December instead of October and that the main part of the extension is now scheduled to start up in May, rather than the previously announced December.

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Comments

What about the Orange Line? Any update on that classic MBTA epic fail?

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Let me google that for you

Seriously do we have to have the "let's shit on the T because I have a gripe today" crap?

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Nobody could have predicted this, except for everybody. Let's remember to act surprised next time it gets delayed too.

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that it's happening.

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GLX primarily benefits higher income commuters in an area that was already well serviced by transit.

Imagine if we spent $2.3 Billion on improved bus service and infrastructure in the many transit deserts in the greater Boston area.

GLX is a failure of leadership and a failure of vision.

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The subway is much better than buses spewing diesel fumes while stuck in traffic created by car drivers. I look forward to using the glx whenever it’s done.

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There are Electric Buses now. Try to keep up.

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between the time when the GLX was first proposed (as part of Big Dig mitigation), and next year when it will finally open.

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Perhaps had they built it 20 years ago it wouldn't have cost as much. The GLX was part of the deal with the Big Dig and took decades of fighting to get it built. It's as much for environmental reasons as for connivence and it's already looking like more dense development will be coming to the areas served by the new train.

But regardless, just because GLX was built doesn't mean the state shouldn't spend the same money improving other parts of the system.

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It would have cost less if they skipped the giant bike path viaducts and glass box stations. And this is after they revised the project because the costs were out of control. (What exactly did they leave out?)

The Green Line D has none of those, and it works just fine. How much would it have cost it today's dollars?

If the state hadn't wasted so much money on fancy stuff that doesn't improve service, they would have had more money for other rail projects. Like maybe the next phase of the GLX.

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...to get to Union Square is generally a multiple bus/subway trip. If I can get there without having to take three buses, I'll be pretty happy.

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Just for conversation sake, can you identify the transit deserts of Boston?

People speak of access to public transit like there you have to walk uphill both ways with pythons and polar bears attacking you in a hurricane, even though it is only a few blocks walk to nearly any type of public transit.

When one factors in buses and trains, there is a lot of transportation fairly close to people.

If anyone says that Boston has a transit desert, if typically means they are too much of a snob to get on a bus.

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If you haven't actually read anything on the subject, you aren't obliged to comment.

If anyone says that Boston has a transit desert, if typically means they are too much of a snob to get on a bus.

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Took the 18, the 20, the 215, the 1, and the 9 a lot when I was younger. I'll comment all I want.

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I'll comment all I want.

Yes, we know.

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Grow up.

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If anyone says that Boston has a transit desert, if typically means they are too much of a snob to get on a bus.

THIS. ALL OF THIS.

"but I am not close to the T". No honey, you aren't close to a train station. There's a bus right outside your door.

"but the bus is icky". Who cares.

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I ride both. A bus you have to plan your day around because of the low frequency, especially if you have to transfer to another bus, and you hope it's not running 20 minutes behind because of rush hour, or just because. A subway you know you can just go to the station and pick up the next one.

A bus is "I don't have to own a car, but it would be so much easier to get around." A subway is "I don't want to own a car."

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I'm not above busses but from where I am the GLX will take 20 minutes to get to Haymarket vs 60-90 minutes with local buses and transfers.

If buses had dedicated lanes and priority signaling, maybe that wouldn't be the case. But even still, a bus that stops every few blocks and a train with only a dozen stops in total are not equal.

And FWIW, I'm very pissed the T cancelled the 326 bus as part of their first pandemic move and have made no indication they plan to restore the service even with the federal money and the fact that bus was often crowded in the limited hours it ran. (And it was expensive too.)

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I'm not above busses but from where I am the GLX will take 20 minutes to get to Haymarket vs 60-90 minutes with local buses and transfers.

Actually, it's 27 minutes!

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Do a search for Medford to Haymarket. Google pegs it at 45 minutes based on the schedule and if going during rush hour that adds another 20-30 minutes due to the congestion.

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I'm not above busses but from where I am the GLX will take 20 minutes to get to Haymarket vs 60-90 minutes with local buses and transfers.

Agreed, but the issue isn't so much "busses are slow" as "bus routes don't work as well as they could". When a bus runs directly between where you are and where you want to go to, it does just fine (point of comparison, 57 bus vs. the B line...but I'm a bit of a 57 bus cult fanatic, so take this with the appropriate grain of salt).

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Definitely not transit deserts. But I can tell you as a Boston native, we ALL hate the bus. And my friends and I are not snobs, we grew up in the hood and still live in the hood. I think we can all agree that road infrastructure in Boston is terrible for the amount of traffic/population, so it’s fair to say that busses SUCK because you’re usually stuck in traffic. I propose the T make an east-west subway so we don’t have to take the 66 or the 1 to go to Cambridge from Dudley. ;p

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Try stepping outside BrookCambNewtVille and a few parts of Boston.

Transit is largely non-existent or ineffective in much of Boston and the inner suburbs.

"The experience of taking an MBTA bus fails to live up to our own standards in too many ways." - MBTA Better Bus Project

https://www.mbta.com/projects/better-bus-project

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Imagine if people had a clue and knew about the history of the project.

As I like to point to the 1945 wall subway map on my wall of "planned extensions", GLX being one. And to the 1976 East Cambridge Redevelopment plan document, where it talks about "new Lechmere" across the street from its existing location with an extension into Somerville.

This project has been in the works in some iteration since at least 1945. Prior to that this area was served by streetcars (Lechmere being the switching point to the subway).

And this, in this most recent iteration.. its was Big Dig requirement. (It is not anymore)

And keep in mind that when the original planning for the Big Dig was done, including going to the Fed for tax dollars to pay for it was in... wanna guess the year?

1983.

Yeah that was a long time ago. Somerville was a very different place in 1983. Even the red line hadn't even opened yet beyond harvard. So in 1983, Somerville was a 'transit desert', and extending the GL in the GLX fashion would help.

Even as little as 20 years ago, the term "Slummerville" was still used widely. Somerville wasn't always trendy, hip, and expensive. It was blue collar lower class people.

You could argue that $ could be redirected since so much time has passed, but remember, when the T goes to bat for $, most of the work in writing grants was done for GLX, and it got approved. Doing what you say would require them to go back to the drawing board, and resubmit EVERYTHING, which would add more time.

And finally, you can't just 'transfer' money to another project, nor can GLX money be used for operating costs (outside of new cars and facilities). So if we don't do the GLX, the money is gone (and need to go and reapply).

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I moved to MA in 2009 and people at my new job were surprised I wanted to live in Slummerville. The gentrification outpaced the planning (and in several places was sped along by the planning/commitment to build), that's not a reason to cancel the project. It anything the increasing density and business activity now DEMAND more transit capacity.

The best thing possible for transit deserts at this point, with the time and money spent, is the GLX opens and blows the deliberately-underestimated ridership numbers out of the water on day one. SHOW how much pent up demand there is, SHOW that system expansions have immediate returns, have hard evidence so that every time some other transit project is brought up and the MBTA and State Gov deliberately massage the numbers to pretend nobody wants it, people have evidence showing to the contrary. Successes beget more success.

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Somerville has the highest population density of any municipality in Massachusetts with just under 20,000 people per square mile as of 2019 estimates. Before the infill station at Assembly Square opened a few years ago, Somerville had exactly one rail transit station.

The rise in average income in Somerville is partly tied to the fact that GLX is coming. And there are still plenty of folks in Somerville who are lower-income as well.

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Yes Somerville had one transit station. However Porter (Red Line and Commuter Rail) and Sullivan are all within one block of the municipal boundaries. It is not like on Summer at Cedar that you were a mile from a station.

You also really can't say that East Somerville, east of McGrath was Holden or Plympton based on Orange Line transit access.

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Meanwhile, in London, as of mid 2016 the Elizabeth Line was due to open at the end of that year. 5 years later, they don’t even bother guessing on an opening date.

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Testing has started and passenger service is supposed to start in early 2022: https://www.crossrail.co.uk/project/our-plan-to-complete-the-elizabeth-l...

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That said, I think I misspoke on the timeline. In January 2016 they were certain that it would be completed by the end of 2018. I swear that in mid-2016 I saw Geoff Marshall talking about the impending completion of Crossrail.

As for our little project, a few month's delay is nothing, especially since this was a Big Dig mitigation project agreed to in the early 1990s.

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