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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

MBTA Begins Planning of Green Line Extension


The projected track for the extended Green Line of Boston’s T system.

As the oldest and most frequented subway line in the United States, Boston’s T—specifically the Green Line—has survived through many decades of the city and remains one of its most famous landmarks. However, since taking up operations 119 years ago, the Green Line has also undergone constant updates regarding its rails and trains.

This month, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has decided to undertake a project that would bring the Green Line closer toward Boston’s goal of providing an up-to-date public transit system for its citizens. Since Oct. 7, the MBTA is officially taking bids from contractors for implementation of the long-awaited extension of the Green Line.

The so-called “Green Line Extension Project” (GLX) proposes that new branches should be added to the main line in order to provide better access to people living in the Greater Boston Area. According to the MBTA’s website, the new extensions will start at Lechmere Station and reach into Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. Furthermore, the project will also update existing stations, facilities, and trains along the Green Line.

In this first phase of the realization of GLX, the MBTA will accept submissions for the redesign. These will be reviewed over the following months along with the cost information. Once the MBTA has decided on one redesign program, it will organize and prepare the implementation of it. In the third and longest phase, the construction will take place. It is expected that completion of this last stage of the project will take around 43 to 47 months.

Regarding the projected financial expenses, the MBTA predicts that the GLX project will cost around $2.3 billion. The management also points out that should the redesign be finished according to the time schedule, each month will cost the MBTA another $1.6 million.

However, the MBTA will not be the sole financier of the extension, but rather aims to seek additional and collaborative funding from “MPO, the corridor communities, and developers,” according to the project’s website. So far, the MBTA has already found several willing sponsor who support the GLX. One of them is the City of Cambridge, which has pledged to contribute $25 million over the upcoming years. In addition to that, the City of Somerville has promised to support the GLX with $50 million. Although Medford, the third city that will directly benefit from the extension, has not yet officially pledged any sum to the project, the MBTA hopes for its future support. Currently, the MBTA is also in talks with the Federal Transit Commission (FTA) to secure federal funding of an estimated $1 billion.

In an upcoming forum on Nov. 16, the MBTA will present information about current development regarding the project to the public, including invited firms that could be selected to implement the GLX project.
Read more about the details of this project and its progress on its official website at http://greenlineextension.eot.state.ma.us/.