Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Ambitious Boston Rail Expansions Planned for Next Decade
"On Thursday afternoon, MassDOT released its Capital Investment Plan for 2014 through 2018, which is an outline of how state officials plan to spend money, trying to fix the problems that plague pedestrians, cyclists, commuters, and drivers," reports Steve Annear. Though many of the projects outlined in the plan have been in the works for years, one bold initiative highlighted by Annear is the expansion of the 9.2-mile Fairmount Indigo Line.
Though the line passes through some of the densest areas of Boston, it has the lowest ridership of any commuter rail service in the city. In addition to new stations along the line that are currently under construction, the Capital Plan envisions an ambitious expansion of the Indigo Line. "According to a map produced by MassDOT as part of the report, the Indigo Line would expand in the next decade and make loops into Fort Point, near the Convention Center, as well as provide trips to Back Bay, and introduce a connector that could swing into Cambridge before making its way to North Station from Allston," explains Annear.
Though 53 percent of the $12.4 billion would be spent on highways, officials are planning to spend $130 million on improving bicycle infrastructure by 2018.
Of note, adds Martine Powers in the Boston Globe, "If efforts are successful to repeal the automatic gasoline tax hikes in a November ballot question, the resulting lower tax revenue could derail some of the transportation projects."