About STEP
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Thanks for visiting STEP at Artbeat!


We always enjoy talking with everyone who drops by the STEP booth about what’s happening with the Green Line Extension – and everything else related to better transportation in Somerville. Happy Artbeat!

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Green Line
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Roundup of coverage of the Green Line groundbreaking

“Green Line extension breaks ground — for real, this time” (Boston Globe)

“Officials Break Ground On Green Line Extension” (WBUR)

“Green Line Extension breaks ground” (Somerville Times)

“Federal, state officials celebrate groundbreaking of $2.3B Green Line extension” (WHDH TV 7NEWS)

“MBTA Green Line Extension Project Officially Underway in Somerville” (NECN)

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Green Line
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Green Line groundbreaking!

Today in Union Square a crowd gathered for an official groundbreaking for the Green Line Extension project! (Yes, there have been ceremonies like this before, but as a few speakers joked today, this time it will stick.) Keep reading for more photos from the event.

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Buses, Transportation News
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Why is US transit ridership down? Service cuts are a big reason

“More Routes = More Riders” (CityLab)

According to a new study by researchers at McGill University’s department of urban planning, transit agencies are repelling riders by shrinking routes and schedules on buses in particular. “The more service a transit authority provides (measured as the number of kilometers driven annually by public transit vehicles—VRK), the more transit trips it will attract.”

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Green Line
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Green Line bridge closures and other construction updates

At the May 1 meeting of the GLX Community Working Group, the project team presented an update that included the following news:

  • The overall design is approximately 15% complete.
  • They shared new viaduct drawings near Lechmere and also Community Path renderings in the same area.
  • Tree clearing will continue through the summer as construction begins in earnest.
  • The Broadway Bridge in Ball Square will be closed Fall 2018 to Fall 2019.
  • Washington St will be closed at the railroad bridge (between Joy and Tufts Streets) for about 11 months in 2019 and another 4-5 months in 2020. Washington St will be closed to all traffic including bikes and pedestrians.

View the slides.

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Green Line
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Green Line update from March public meeting

In case you haven’t already seen it, check out the slides from the March 28 meeting at Somerville High School. Lots of important details on the construction plan. And a few renderings of future Gilman station.

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Health Issues
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US News & World Report article on Somerville efforts to deal with near-highway pollution

“Fighting for Breath in Near-Highway Neighborhoods” 

“In the neighborhoods straddling Interstate 93 in Somerville, Massachusetts, residents know to keep their windows shut each weekday as commuters travel from Boston’s suburbs into the city, their cars spouting exhaust and other pollution that collects as soot on the sides of houses.

Infamous for its congested roads and rush-hour backups, traffic on I-93 creates significant air-quality and health challenges for residents living near the highway, many of whom are low-income and are more likely to get sick from the pollution exposure, but often can’t afford to move or protect their homes from the unnatural elements.”

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Green Line
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Construction update from the Green Line team

START OF WORK: APRIL 2018

General Information
After years of community advocacy and planning, the GLX was given an official “Notice to Proceed” in December 2017, and work is already underway with completion expected by late 2021, which is a contractual obligation by the GLX contractors. The GLX contract team is currently mobilizing at each of the six station areas, and you will begin to see work happening in April around each of these station areas (Union Square, Washington Street, Gilman Square, Lowell Street, Ball Square, and College Ave. in Medford). Preliminary work throughout the month of April will include tree removal, digging test pits, and pest control. More significant construction is expected to begin in summer 2018. Note: you may start to see some larger equipment along the rail corridor beginning in the spring; however, this does not mean that excavation or major construction is beginning at that time. Arrival of equipment is part of the pre-construction preparation.

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Green Line
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Green Line contractor receives Notice to Proceed and federal money is released

The MBTA has issued the Notice to Proceed to GLX Constructors, the joint venture it selected to complete the design and build the extension to Somerville and Medford, and the first $100 million in federal funds has been released.

“Federal Funds Issued for MBTA Green Line Extension Project” (MBTA)

“The Federal Transit Administration today informed the MBTA Green Line Extension (GLX) Project Team that it has released the first $100 million installment of the total approved $1 billion in federal funding for the 4.7-mile light rail line from Cambridge to Medford, marking another milestone for the project. With federal funding in place, the MBTA issued the Notice to Proceed to GLX Design-Build team, GLX Constructors.”

“U.S. Department of Transportation to Release $100 Million in Grant Funds for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line Extension” (FTA)

“Governor Charlie Baker’s commitment to responsibly manage taxpayer dollars in the building of this project was persuasive,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. “The region can now look forward to an enhanced transportation network as the Green Line is extended to serve tens of thousands of area residents daily.”

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Green Line, Transportation News
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A few pretty great commercials for public transportation

Watch these gems.

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