GLX off and running

On December 12, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

glx_map_2_webBy Max Sullivan

Extension of Somerville’s Green Line was officially announced Tuesday afternoon as Governor Deval Patrick, Somerville Mayor Joesph Curtatone and other Boston and Massachussetts officials took the podium in support of the new project.

The project, expected to be completed by 2017 and costing $12.9 million, will extend Somerville’s Green line to Union Square and into Medford Hillside. It will involve the reconstruction of the Harvard St. railroad bridge in Medford and the Medford St. railroad bridge in Somerville, as well as the demolition of the building currently at 21 Water St. in East Cambridge to include an extension off of Lechmere Station.

Governor Patrick was greeted by a round of applause a little before 2:00 p.m. from a small crowd of roughly fifty people in the parking lot behind Target in Somerville, the podium placed fittingly in front of the MBTA’s railroad tracks that run through Somerville as its backdrop.

Governor Patrick spoke of the importance of transportation to a city’s economy.

“Transportation is always about economic growth. Not only does a reliable mass transportation system take cars off the road, it gets people to work, and makes whole neighborhoods accessible,” Patrick said. “Scores of families and young people have made the communities of Somerville and Cambridge and Medford their home, knowing this project is on the way.”

“Green Line extension means job opportunity, housing opportunity, and recreational opportunity,” Patrick continued. “This project is about more than transportation. It’s about opportunity.”

Somerville Mayor Curtatone opened the event by emphasizing the importance of the day’s event as being “as momentous and transforming as any in the history of our great city.”

Patrick and Curtatone insisted that the beginning of this project, which supporters have been awaiting for the past 20 years, is a victory for the big picture plan that Patrick and other members of the left have for Massachusetts. While opposition to the project insist that it is unwise to spend money on the Green Line extension considering the current economic state, the governor and mayor stated that this kind of aggressive spending will prove fruitful for these Boston suburbs in the long run.

“Of course there are naysayers, there always are,” Patrick said. “They say we should stop trying to extend the Green Line, shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions, and wait. All will be well. Even though that strategy has been disproved by history time after time.”

“The nay-sayers are focused on short term,” Patrick continued. “We need to be focused on longterm opportunity.”

“At a time of continuous debate about how best to foster a sustainable economic future for our commonwealth,” Curtatone said, “This event underscores the crucial importance of public investment and public leadership in leveraging and enabling private investment.”

Alberto Cabre and Angelina Jockovich, owners of the restaurant Casa B, took the podium last to share their excitement for the new T stop in their neighborhood. Having recently opened their business in Union Square, they are enthralled that the extension will result in in the new station to bring the square more business.

“When we opened the restaurant a year ago, we didn’t know where the Green station was going,” Yagovich said. “Finally, the station is coming to Union Square. It’s going to help continue developing the businesses of Somerville to make this square the best square of the city.”

“You cannot have a growing and sustainable, 21st century economy,” Curtatone insisted, “Without a growing and sustainable transportation system.”

MassDot Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey, Congressman Michael Capuano, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford and Mayor Henrietta Davis of Cambridge also spoke Tuesday in support of the Green Line extension.


18 Responses to “GLX off and running”

  1. This is certainly exciting news and I’m glad two local businesses owners were given the opportunity to speak!

  2. philb says:

    I’d say it was more like 100-200 range of people there

  3. j. connelly says:

    E.e.e.eventually…. it will get done as usual with a bigger cost and time completed than stated, cause after all this is MA.

    Though what they should have done is used the existing tracks from Cambridge up to W. Medford. Then have the commuter rail start/stop from the W. Medford location. Thus the GLX could be completed in a couple of years at less cost and no rebuilding of the existing bridges, (most of which have already been rebuilt in the last 15 years). That will not happen because the officials will crap on the middle class and not dare to take property, etc., from other areas such as rich ritzy towns like Winchester.

  4. Andrew says:

    What will also help the subways is if they actually ran the trains a little bit longer at night too. It really stifles a city when the entire metro system shuts down at 12:30am, extensions are all well and good, but unless transport times during rush hour are improved and trains are extended, the system will still be lacking compared to most other commuter cities like NYC, D.C and SF.

  5. Jackie Velos says:

    In London, the subway shuts down at midnight, I think…

  6. Ron Newman says:

    Yes, but London runs ‘night bus’ lines all night as a replacement. So do a number of other cities such as Amsterdam.

  7. mememe says:

    I think its 1 in London Jackie. They tried to push Boston’s out later, but the Taxi Union started to cry. The weakness of politicians to keep the T open later then bars leads to drunk driving and deaths.

    As far as the article, the quotes are crazy. Picture those same quotes (and they are similar if you look back), being said before the Big Dig. The Nay-sayers have a point, despite Patrick et al wanting to ignore what they dont want to hear.

  8. Ken Krause says:

    Thanks for the coverage. However, your map is inaccurate. There is no station planned at Winthrop Street in Medford. The location of the proposed permanent terminus is at Route 16 (Mystic Valley Parkway) in Somerville (current site of the U-Haul building).

  9. JMB says:

    Boston did try the “night owl” bus lines that ran late several years ago.

    They lost a ton of money because they require a lot of manpower to keep the service operational for sporadic ridership times.

    New York, London, Philly, etc., all have either significantly higher ridership (I think the NYC system has like 8m riders per day, where the MBTA has like 500,000) and/or is more expensive. Chicago’s L has a lot more riders and charges about $3/trip.

    DC’s metro charges more during rush hour times, which I think is a good idea. That way, the people who tend to use the system more (i.e., daily commuters) pay their fair share for upkeep while occasional riders (weekends, midday) pay less.

  10. Ray Spitzer says:

    They could charge a lot extra for late night service, to make up for low ridership… After all, people are not going to use it frequently, so they can afford the extra charge.

  11. j. connelly says:

    Yes & many years ago when other states were charging 50 cents, then 75, then $1.00 to ride their buses/etc.

    The “Moonbats” in Ma were crying cause it was suggested to go from a dime to a quarter and they did mass hysteria. [None of them wanted to ride bikes back then]. Then the balless politicians on Bacon Hill, as usual, backed down from raising rates & that is one of the reasons the “T” is in such a mess today.

    If MA offered free transit service the “Moonbats” would then be pushing for “free sushi bars”, etc., on the buses. New Wave Communism.

  12. Dicky Bird says:

    I will still rely on my wings as the noise ordinance will not allow late night trains will they Joey Cakes

  13. MarketMan says:

    j.connelly: The fares is nowhere near the main reason that the T is a financial mess. It has more to do with the following: (1) large pension burden of employees that can retire ridiculously early, (2) much of the Big Dig debt was transferred over to the MBTA, and (3) insufficient tax structure for funding public transit. On (3), my understanding is that the MBTA is mostly funded from a portion of sales tax which suffers dramatically in tight economical periods like we’re having now.

  14. JMB says:

    J. Connelly, I completely agree with (some) of what you said. Whenever the suggestion of increasing fares comes up, people freak. It’s simple economics to me: if you want the service to be upgraded, updated, well-run, and expanded, you should have to pay for those services if you use the system. You should not expect others to cover the bulk of the expenses.

    Of course, grants and other revenue should not be turned away, and should be maximized to reduce ridership fares when possible.

  15. j. connelly says:

    Boy “MarketMan” you are off of the ‘tracks’ big time.

    1] For SEVERAL decades the State/Cities/Towns NEVER have put their share of $$$ into the pension funds. Yet weekly the EMPLOYEES SHARE HAS been deducted from their paychecks. Meanwhile the state/citie/towns have BORROWED $$$ from the EMPLOYEES share to bail the politicians as the POLITICIANS have grossly WASTED TAXPAYERS $$$ for decades. THIS IS FACT! The majority of $$$ is the employees own money…the State/cities/town have enroned the pension funds for years and all of the politician/hacks should be removed from positions on the pension boards.

    2] The “T” for decades has ASSESSED cities/towns a yearly TAX, whether the city/town has “T” service or not. Somerville should not have to pay this “T” TAX as the “T” has a large amount of TAX (They Don’t Pay) EXEMPT land in Somerville. Thus they are not surviving by the sales tax but do get multiple bites of tax $$$ plus federal money.

  16. londoner says:

    big difference in London–Pubs shut down much earlier than here. no 24 hour stores.

  17. Robert Walton says:

    I know plenty of pubs in London that stay open way after the subway shuts down there. And it is midnight. After that, it’s night bus or taxi time.

  18. Ron Newman says:

    11 pm pub closings are a thing of the past in London. This law changed several years ago.

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