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MassDOT mulls linking Chelsea and South Station with Silver Line extension

Passengers board Bus 111 at a stop in Chelsea. The bus links Chelsea and East Boston with South Station.
Passengers board Bus 111 at a stop in Chelsea. The bus links Chelsea and East Boston with South Station.Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

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There are a lot of things going for the proposed extension of the MBTA Silver Line to Chelsea and East Boston.

The proposed route, which links the two neighborhoods with South Station, would connect two historically underserved communities to the heart of Boston. It would ease crowding on the notoriously overcrowded and plodding 111 bus line. And it would be a first step toward fulfilling transportation advocates’ goals of connecting the far reaches of the MBTA system in an “urban ring.”

But most of all, it’s cheap. The extension would cost somewhere in the order tens of millions of dollars, according to officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

“In terms of transportation dollars,” said Jay Ash, Chelsea’s city manager, who has pushed for the extension for 16 years, “this is a relatively modest expenditure.”

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