The Boston City Council learned more about the North-South rail link, a proposed project to connect North Station and South Station, at a recent hearing.
The proposed 2.8 mile tunnel would link the subway system to the commuter rail system so passengers wouldn’t have to switch MBTA lines to connect like they do currently.
The Harvard Kennedy School, in 2017, estimated the cost would be between $4 to $6 billion, depending on the size of the project. However, state officials said it would cost between $12 to $21.5 billion.
Councilors were mostly in favor of the North-South rail link and wanted to have more conversations about it.
“This, of course, runs through our city of Boston, and as the capital city and what I would argue is the economic engine of the state and this region, it’s important for this to happen and for us to understand the full impact,” said Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George about the project.
The North-South rail would also close the only gap between Maine and Washington D.C. on the regional train line, which makes it a federal project as well. This makes the project eligible to receive federal grants. The missing link is only one-mile long.
Lucas Santos, who previously served as Moulton’s transportation director, said the project would take 55 thousand cars off the road daily.
“It just makes travel throughout stations seamless,” he said.
Former governor Michael Dukakis believes this is one of the most important national infrastructure projects and said this region needs a regional rail line system.
“This is the busiest train line in the country,” he said. “We must have a regional rail system in this region. You can’t have a world class regional train system with one mile missing in the middle of it. This is absolutely critical.”
In a recent NorthEndWaterfront.com poll, the majority of our readers (86.5% of poll participants) expressed that they, too, support the North-South link.
Essaibi-George said that the city and state need to move ahead with this project.
“We need to get to a place of action,” she said.