Transit-oriented development runs on a grand bargain between private developers and the public sector. A robust public transportation system catalyzes growth, and withdrawing support for transit closes off opportunity. That’s why the current bid to indefinitely shelve the MBTA’s Red Line/Blue Line Connector is so short-sighted: In a bid to save a few million dollars, the state is throwing a cloud over billions in economic development.
The Red Line’s Charles/MGH station looks up the hill at the Blue Line’s Bowdoin terminus, but a half-mile stretch of Cambridge Street in Boston separates the two stations. The Red and Blue Lines are the only two MBTA subway lines that don’t intersect, and as a result, relatively short distances are difficult to bridge. According to Rafael Mares, a staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation, commuters traveling from Harvard to Maverick Station at 10 p.m. would spend more time waiting on train platforms than they would spend driving from Cambridge to East Boston.