If the MBTA wasn't in debt, these items would be at the top of its new wish list.
Kenmore Station looks as if it has just survived an act of God, the Orange Line hasn’t seen a new car since the Reagan administration, and the head of the Transit Police union says there are only five cops riding the rails at any given time.
Welcome to the MBTA’s multibillion-dollar debt fest.
With the T approximately $5 billion in the red (more than $8 billion if you apply interest), most of the items on riders’ wish lists seem as far removed as the next 66 bus on a Sunday.
Just how many projects and purchases could be sped along if the T didn’t have such weighty obligations? In a sort of fantasy-league-inspired shopping spree, we shrugged off the interest and rode home with these items.
NEW CARS The Orange Line’s 120 cars have been on the tracks for 20 years or more, according to MBTA estimates. The Green Line follows a close second with 92 almost-legal-drinking-age cars, followed by the Red Line’s 84 and the Blue Line’s 70. Though the T just completed its purchases of 95 Green Line cars at more than $2.3 million each and 94 new Blue Line cars at $1.8 million each, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo says the first step toward new Orange and Red Line cars won’t take place until this summer, with new models not arriving until 2012. Bummer. For the sake of argument, let’s say the T takes a bid of $2 million apiece for new Red and Orange Line cars. If you’re going to pay more than $400 million to update two lines, you may as well do all four and the Mattapan trolley. “We have a Mattapan system that is 75 years old and says ‘Welcome to the Green Line,’ ” says Lisa Sadika Edwards, chairwoman of transit advocacy group the T Riders’ Union. “They say they’re preserving history, and I say, ‘Put history in the museum.’ ” TOTAL COST $745.6 million
: News Features
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