5/9/16 MassDOT and Control Board Vote to Continue GLX with Conditions Reply

After a 4-1/2 hour joint meeting, the Board of the Mass Department of Transportation and the Fiscal and Management Control Board of the MBTA voted unanimously to continue the Green Line Extension with conditions:

  • Staff are to submit redesign and revised materials to the Federal Transit Authority.
  • Staff are to prepare a revised finance plan suggesting how to make up the remaining $73M shortfall.
  • Staff are to report to board:
    • Strategy and progress for hiring a management team for the GLX project and for  addressing ongoing T management issues.
    • Recommendations for advancing project while FTA process continues.
    • Recommendations for gating items for which staff will return to these boards for direction.

The finance plan was required because after cutting the project deeply, removing even full roofs from the stations, the estimate came out over budget:

Estimate:                                            $2.29B
Includes sunk costs, new vehicles, contingency reserve

Revenue:                                           $1.992B

Initial funding gap:                           $300M

Boston MPO funds transfer:          -$150M
City of Somerville commitment:    – $50M
City of Cambridge commitment:     -$25M

Remaining funding gap:                     $75M

Conference rooms 1, 2, and 3 at the Transportation Building were crowded with political leaders and members of the public.

Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville, the mayor of Medford and the Cambridge City Manager spoke in solidarity in support.  Senator Patricia Jehlen spoke for the state delegations of the three cities in support. Bill White, Mark Niedergang, and Katjana Ballentyne spoke  individually in support.

Over fifty citizens spoke, only one in opposition. Points raised include community health, environmental justice, access transportation as an equity issue, GLX as a legal commitment, GLX as key to future development plans, connect the community path all the way. Representative of Tufts University said that Tufts was making land available for construction and making commitment for maintenance around the station. People came from the South End of Boston and from the Back Bay to speak in support.

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