I am all for this. I originally wanted the tunnel, no matter what, because I thought it would save a lot of time and be easier for commuters.
Having just been on the Silver Line out to the airport, and having used the new AirTrain service at JFK airport in New York City, I can now see the benefits of the revised Silver Line plans.
I agree, it’s not what was promised. It seems to be a viable alternative, however.
And, I know for sure, the tunnel as previously proposed would never ever ever be built – there are
three four neighborhoods involved, and all four neighborhoods have already said they don’t want the tunnel in their neighborhoods.
From the Boston Globe:
State Transportation Secretary John Cogliano has proposed a new plan for the last phase of the Silver Line “bus rapid transit”.
The proposal would connect the two existing parts of the Silver Line, the first going from Dudley Square in Roxbury to Downtown Crossing, and the second going from South Station through the Seaport District out to Logan Airport.
The tunnel would have gone through parts of the South End and Bay Village, past the New England Medical Center, into a newly-built tunnel, and on to South Station.
The original plan was estimated to cost $800 million, mostly for the tunnel running from Columbus Avenue to Essex Street. The new plan could apparently be implemented for less than $100 million since it’s almost all along existing streets.
In addition, according to the Globe, “the proposal calls for a new Silver Line spur from Copley Square to the proposed Essex Street portal, offering what could be a transfer-free, one-seat ride from the Back Bay to South Boston and Logan.”