Monday, June 30, 2008

the red line is an urban defect

Come on. 2011? The final fix on the Longfellow Bridge won't begin until 2011?

I hadn't been a daily red line user in five years, but now that I'm moving regularly between Cambridge and South Station this two mile stretch of track is essential to me.

And it sucks. It's not just that the Longfellow Bridge is broken and the trains are required to creep over it at 5mph. Not just that you can expect multi minute waits at multiple stations on most rides. Or the uncanny frequency of "electrical problems" or "switching issues" causing thousands of frustrated, sweating riders to squirm uncomfortably in intimate proximity as they waste their mornings and evenings trapped underground. Again.

Nope. It's that this is happening on a vital piece of urban technology running through one of the densest populations of big brains on the planet (amazingly, less than 200m from the Volpe Transportation Center). And no one can manage to plan and execute a solution that will, in the most optimistic of circumstances, take less than five years and $250 million to deliver. In the midst of an incipient energy crisis. Where dependence on efficient and dependable mass transit can only grow.

So very lame.