The transit newsletter called “LivableStreets” has posted this intriguing item on the proposed Green Line extension to Somerville and West Medford:
Though unconfirmed, LivableStreets has learned that the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the gateway for approving all transportation spending in the region, plans on pulling the Silver Line Phase 3 (a controversial tunnel connecting the two existing lines) from the Federal “New Starts” capital investment program, putting the Green Line Extension to Somerville and Medford in its place.
Well, that ought to raise a few eyebrows! I haven’t followed the ins and outs of these transit projects, but the Silver Line has of course been the subject of all kinds of heated debate – here’s a recent Globe story about the “Phase 3” part of the project.
Perhaps someone who knows more about this than I do can answer this question: if this report is accurate, does it mean that federal transit dollars once thought to be available for expanding and improving the Silver Line – which runs from Dudley Square in Roxbury to Downtown Crossing and also runs from South Station to the airport – are now going to be redirected to a project that will primarily benefit people who live in the suburbs?
UPDATE: Alert commenter adamg notes below that an agreement was announced today that would involve building a new tunnel for the Silver Line. It’s unclear to me whether this means that the Green Line story is wrong, though I can’t imagine going forward on the Silver Line without some federal funding. Anyone?