|There are only two proposed stations that are not within a 15-20 minute walk of another MBTA station. Those two stations, Union and Gilman Squares are both on currently active commuter rail lines. Two new commuter rail stations could possibly take care of any "transit hole" that exists in Somerville.
Transportation expert Charles Chieppo, of the Ash Center at the Kennedy School of Government, said, "I have no problem using VMT as a transportation funding source. Nor do I take issue with cross-subsidization - in this case, using highway revenue to help fund transit."
Chieppo continued, "But I have a big problem with using VMT to fund completion of the Green Line Extension, which was among 14 unfunded MBTA expansion projects whose construction was mandated to mitigate non-existent detrimental environmental impacts of the Big Dig. Today, those billions of dollars in unfunded mandates are the single biggest cause of the T's fiscal woes."
Chieppo has a particular problem with mandated mitigaion, "dodging the problem by shifting the burden to drivers for these mitigation requirements, which were the single worst transportation decision of the latter half of the 20th century in Massachusetts, would make it all too easy for state leaders to repeat the mistake and build more assets with no source of funding for their construction, operation or maintenance. Anyone who doubts it need only look to the Patrick/Murray administration's ongoing push for South Coast Rail, yet another unfunded multi-billion dollar project."
Deval Patrick, in an effort to quell a taxpayer firestorm has walked back from his administration's report. Telling reporters on Monday that the revenues outlined in the FTA are only "hypotheticals".
One question that voters could be asking themselves, as they go to the polls in November, is whether or not to vote for politicians that support raising their taxes by $148 on average, to pay for a service that will serve a small portion of the Commonwealth's residents.
State House News Service reporting contributed to this story.