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New Red Line cars are a welcome boost, but state must invest more

Could Greater Boston get a better holiday gift than news of 134 new Red Line cars (“T gets OK for another 134 cars,” Page A1, Dec. 13)?

Imagine the yuletide cheer that would spread if we had a whole system of top-notch transit, and not just some much-needed new cars on one line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. We know that reliable public transportation is a major driver of any city’s economy. In 2014 two urban planners, from the University of California, Berkeley, and Rutgers University, estimated that because of the impact that public transit has on employment, the economic value of transit ranges from $1.5 million to $1.8 billion a year in wages. That would make a lot of people jolly.

The Red Line has had a rough few years. Delays, fires, and a driverless train have all made headlines. New cars are a positive step, but the state shouldn’t stop there when investing in transportation. Massachusetts needs safe roads and bridges, reliable train signals, expanded public transportation, and so much more.


New Red Line trains should just be the stocking stuffers. In future years let’s put the whole kit and caboodle under the tree.

James Roosevelt Jr.
Board member
The Alliance for Business Leadership