And for all the people who have complained about how long it has taken to fix Cambridge Street down near Mass. General, have no fear, it will happen soon. Why? Because the Blue Line-Red Line link is coming to tear up the streets once more.
Seriously, the state's decision to settle long-standing lawsuits and upgrade public transportation is significant. Unfortunately, the reality is turning these projects over to the MBTA sends shivers down my spine -- particularly Green Line expansion.
What do you do when a method of transportation is already overpriced and unreliable? Why raise the price and extend it the service so it takes longer to get from Point A to Point B!
The trips down Commonwealth Avenue, Beacon Street and Huntington Avenue are already excruciatingly long. Lots of passengers and lots of traffic lights that don't work in sync means people can walk faster between stops than the trains can move.
Add new fare cards that require a rocket scientist to figure out how to properly insert them into the fareboxes and you have a recipe for chaos. Require outbound fares so that passengers must shove past bulky backpacks down narrow aisles to get to the one available exit door is a guarantee of insurrection (and dropping ridership).
Throw in the inability to buy quality vehicles for the Green and Blue lines and you have a profile of an agency totally incapable of planning (or providing quality service at reasonable prices).
So what do you do in this situation? Give them more responsibility of course.
I suspect the Somerville and Medford extension will be more like the Riverside line (at least I hope so) -- limited stops along a dedicated rail corridor. But given the brilliance of people who brought you outbound fares, I strongly suspect we will see trains that run from Medford out to Riverside and 128. Or worse yet, Boston College.
After all, this is a system that requires you to change trains if you are going from Comm. Ave. to the Cambridgeside Galleria because only the E Line -- which merges into the main line at Copley -- runs to Lechmere now.
So good people of Medford and Somerville -- you got what you wanted. Now be prepared to live with it, like the rest of us.
We failed in fighting the fare increase. But let's get Danny on the Purple Line.