Assembly Square

So, the new Assembly Square station on the Orange Line is now open which means my commute will now take a bit longer and be a bit more crowded (although almost no one actually got on or off from there yesterday or today). What’s interesting is that buses will replace the subway on September 14, so I guess it’s not done quite yet–they probably wanted to open it as soon as possible to make things look better. I also love how everyone talks about the new neighborhood:

“We invest in infrastructure to increase private development, revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “The new Assembly Orange Line station is a concrete reminder of what can be achieved through public-private partnership and investment in our communities.”

“A demand for enhanced access to transit, for smart development centered on transportation access and for livable, workable communities has been heard loud and clear by this Administration,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “The opening of the new Assembly station today is a direct response to that demand that will provide easy, affordable access to rapid transit in this new neighborhood of Somerville.”

“The first new MBTA station in 27 years is a testament to the key role that access to transportation plays in the growth and redevelopment of our cities and towns,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. “Assembly is a modern, fully accessible, environmentally-friendly Orange Line station that will serve this blossoming new neighborhood and the City of Somerville well for years to come.”

“Assembly Row is an excellent example of a well-rounded development project that aligns our jobs, housing and transportation needs to better serve our residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through these types of collaborative efforts we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.”

“The opening of the Orange Line Assembly Station is a win not only for Somerville but for the Commonwealth, and I want to especially thank Gov. Patrick for his deep commitment to this project and to forward-looking transportation policy overall,” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “The smart, transit-oriented development taking place around this T-stop that our community outlined in our SomerVision plan will not only connect more workers and residents to sustainable and healthy transit. It represents tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs, more than a billion dollars in private investment into our local economy, and a commitment to the infrastructure we need to thrive in a 21st century economy. As we get projects like this moving forward, we get the entire state moving forward.”

“The development of an Assembly Row T station has been a true public and private partnership as Federal Realty, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Somerville have come together to improve a city’s economic future and connect a region through public transit investments,” said Don Briggs, President of Federal Realty Boston. “Assembly Row is a neighborhood unfolding that is now more accessible to all of Boston and beyond. From nationally known outlet retail to locally loved dining, interstate access to corporate campus amenities, Assembly Row is quickly becoming one of the region’s top destinations for the next-generation of work, live, shop, eat and play. ”

The new Assembly station is a true public-private partnership, funded through a combination of federal, state and private investment. The total cost of the station is $56 million with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development contributing $25 million through a MassWorks grant, $16 million in federal funds and a $15 million investment from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of the Assembly Row project.

What no one mentions, an oversight I’m sure, is that this is pretty much exclusively luxury housing–so all this work, public money, and private-public partnership is to help the rich get some nice housing on the T. Great job guys.

It would have been nice if they had upgraded the system before they added the extra traffic, but since ridership is up it’s not really a priority.

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