On paper, it’s just a ramp.
But the publicly owned road in the Seaport District — the one that could be used to speed Silver Line buses, but has instead been commandeered by the State Police — also embodies the attitude of entitlement at the agency that’s led to so much trouble this year. A symbolic way for Governor Baker to signal a clear break with that past would be to intervene in the dispute over the ramp and open it to buses once and for all.
The ramp would allow buses to enter directly onto the Massachusetts Turnpike, avoiding some of the circuitous routing that they now travel to get onto the highway.
That was the ramp’s original purpose, and the T did briefly use the ramp in 2006 without incident. But Troop E of the State Police — a hotbed of payroll mischief that Governor Baker disbanded on Monday — has taken it over on dubious public safety grounds.
Emergency vehicles use the ramp now. But there’s no reason they couldn’t continue to use it alongside buses. Bus drivers can pull over for ambulances and police cars.
Making the Silver Line a little faster and a little more reliable would make it a more attractive option, taking cars off the road. And with the T opening a Silver Line extension to Chelsea later this month, the number of riders who’d benefit from any reduction in travel time stands to increase.
The interests of Silver Line passengers deserve precedence. And reclaiming the ramp would send the welcome message that the State Police can’t claim unreasonable perks at the public’s expense.