Charles/MGH Station Dedication (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Remarks: Administrator James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administration
Thank you for that kind introduction, Bernard (Cohen). On behalf of President Bush and Secretary Peters it is an honor to be speaking here today.
The Charles/MGH station sits at the foot of history — at the foot of one of Massachusetts' most distinguished and historic bridges. The Longfellow ["Salt and Pepper"] Bridge is a gateway for Boston, joining Beacon Hill and Cambridge. Boston built this bridge, and this Red Line station, with mobility in mind. It made neighborhoods more accessible, and it opened up new opportunities for Bostonians.
Today, we are continuing that tradition of accessible, passenger-friendly transit. These renovations to the Charles/MGH station beautifully mesh the old with the new. FTA is proud to have supported these renovations with over $32 million in Federal funding, because they embody the kind of design features that we want to see in transit.
The renovations have made the station fully accessible for Americans with disabilities… I cannot overstate the importance of true accessibility. If public transit does not work for all Americans, then it does not work at all. The renovations have created safe, barrier-free pedestrian access. Also, they have modernized the station with the customer's needs front and center.
MBTA has also taken this chance to give the station a makeover. The station we see today sports an elegance and sophistication that evokes the spirit of a dynamic, mobile and storied city. It is a worthy portal to Boston.
Finally, these renovations were undertaken with an eye to future growth… just as Bostonians did when they first built the Longfellow Bridge in 1793. The station will help catalyze economic future development around the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Eye and Ear Infirmary. This is a great example of a successful Public/Private Partnership – where the hospital invested more than $2.5 million private sector dollars.
This new and improved Charles/MGH station, in conjunction with renovations to the bridge, will make this station as accessible as it is historic. Congratulations on your success.