The state and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority have reached the right conclusion, albeit begrudgingly, in allowing the Green Line extension through Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford to proceed (“State OK’s a cut-down Green Line extension,” Page A1, May 10). This light-rail project will offer clean transit access to some of the Commonwealth’s most crowded communities, bringing economic, air quality, and mobility benefits for many decades to come.

It’s disturbing, though, that the state may still pull the plug if another $73 million isn’t found for this stripped-down project. Transit was mandated to be part and parcel of the Big Dig, yet one transit commitment after another has been delayed, downsized, or canceled.

Meanwhile, more car commuters than ever stream into downtown Boston: 560,000 vehicles per day, more than twice the number of vehicles using the Central Artery at its peak. The Big Dig has boosted private car travel precisely when we should be broadening our reliance on low-carbon mobility.

It’s time to step up our investment in transit. Completing the Green Line is a step in the right direction.


Philip Warburg

The writer was president of the Conservation Law Foundation from 2003 to 2009.