Thursday, July 23, 2009

The missing link

It's disappointing to see the long-proposed link-up of the Blue and Red MBTA lines talked about as something that will never happen, as is the case in today's Globe. I've been hoping to see this project come to fruition for years, and the state is apparently legally bound to push forward with plans for it. The money to actually construct the connection, however, is not there right now and neither is the will.

From what I've read in the past, the Blue Line tunnel already continues from Bowdoin -- the current last stop -- to the Red Line's MGH/Charles, less than a half-mile away, so it is just a matter of laying track and the other infrastructure needed to connect the lines. Still, the estimated cost is $300 million. Hopefully, the state's financial picture will improve enough to get this done.


Murdock said...

I do think that the Red / Blue connector (along with the Green line extension) are critical projects that should be undertaken when the MBTA and State can responsibility afford to do so. However, in the meantime, a good temporary fix would be a direct connection of the Silver line to the Blue line at the Airport station. Not only would this temporary fix cost next to nothing, it might actually save money on fuel and time since the Silver line would only be making a single stop rather than four all around the airport. I never understood the point of having the Silver line busses adding to the traffic congestion around the terminals when the Massport busses provide the exact same service for free. Seems like belt and suspenders to me.

N.starluna said...

I've always thought that the primary purpose of the Silver Line was to serve South Boston (which did need the service) and to get folks from the Red Line to the airport more easily. It was never intended to serve East Boston. I've tried to use it from the aiport to get to meetings near the Children's Museum. It takes less time to go Blue to Green to Red to Silver than to go to the airport and wait for the Silver line.

The lack of commitment to the Red/Blue connector is really disappointing. I would like to know why this wasn't a shovel ready project so that it would have been eligible for stimulus money. What was the reason why the planning and engineering hadn't been done already, especially given that there is already a tunnel that could be used to make the connection?

What's annoying too is the idea that the only function of the Blue Line is to serve the airport. I'm sure there are people who live on the Red Line who work at the health center or Courthouse, want to go to Revere Beach or the Belle Isle marsh, or simply want to come to visit friends and family.

And apparently those of us who live on Blue Line do not deserve easy access to MGH or any of the other points served by the Red Line.