Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Silver Line Has Lost Its Luster

The Silver Line has been getting me down lately.

Last week, dual-mode 1131 (used on the Silver Line Waterfront services) broke down in the Ted Williams Tunnel resulting in a horrendous traffic jam. The delays were so bad that it took about 47 minutes to get from the toll plazas at Logan Airport to South Station. Of course, this unfortunate delay caused me to be late to a meeting. I now add 1131 to the list of buses I vow never ride on again (this list includes 1026, 0216, 0264, and many more).

Adding to my BRT frustrations, it appears that the MBTA will move ahead with the Silver Line Phase III project. Why not? It is only projected to cost around $1,000,000,000 (don't be surprised if the price tag starts to skyrocket). The T could easily pull together that cash. Yeah, with a debt of about $8,000,000,000 it might not be the best idea to pursue a major (and largely unwanted and unpopular) capital project like this. People are already noting the parallels Phase III has with the Big Dig. Sadly, the MBTA has a legal mandate to do it as part of the Big Dig remediation.

Hopefully, if this thing starts to become a reality, the MBTA does not pick Betchel/Parsons Brinckerhoff as the contractor.

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