This week’s announcement by the MBTA of escalating costs for the Green Line extension was disappointing and unwelcome news. However, MassDOT and the MBTA are doing the right thing by stepping back and re-evaluating all aspects of the project and how to bring costs in line with previous projections.
One option suggested by MassDOT – canceling the project – should be withdrawn. The Green Line extension is far too important and a valuable project to abandon at this stage. Not only is extending the Green Line to Medford Hillside a legal commitment of the Commonwealth dating to 1991, but 11 years of planning and $338 million have already been expended on the project, with two years’ worth of construction already completed and more underway. Further, halting the project would mean forfeiting $1 billion in federal transportation funds, and jeopardizing an estimated $6 billion in economic development planned in the GLX corridor – both of which would be harmful to the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As mayor, I will work closely with MassDOT, the MBTA, and my colleagues in Somerville, Cambridge, and Arlington to see this project through to completion with a terminus station at Route 16, where it will serve the largest number of people and provide the most environmental benefits and transportation equity.