STEP is a community group dedicated to
improving transportation in Somerville, MA.
We advocate for the Green Line extension,
a more livable city, and public health issues.

What's new

November 16, 2014

Green Line map updated with new station images and plans

Union Square station

Want to see all the latest images of what the Lechmere, Union Square, and Washington St stations will look like? These stations are now at 90% design, so we can really see the details of these future stations. Check out our map and click on the stations to see 3D renderings and site plans.

November 15, 2014

Car emissions are deadlier than car crashes

A research team led by Fabio Caiazzo of MIT recently quantified the impact of air pollution and premature death in the United States for the year 2005. They found that road-related particulate matter was responsible for about 19% more deaths, nationwide, than car crashes. Read all about it.

Our own Wig Zamore adds:
Unfortunately, the air pollution death valuation is WAY LOW because only traffic contributions to regional, as opposed to local, pollution are counted. Experienced and well regarded southern California environmental health scientists will soon publish a heath impact assessment study suggesting that in 2035 local traffic related air pollution in southern California will be responsible for as many deaths per year as total regional fine particle pollution. Given how much smaller the near roadway population is this is a stunning outcome!

This suggests that the total local and regional traffic pollution deaths are about three times what this article suggests. In general the colder a region is, the higher the ratio of local traffic emissions effects to regional traffic emission effects. Cold weather drives higher local primary pollution concentrations and gradients, warm weather drives higher regional secondary pollution concentrations.

November 08, 2014

Green Line funding not affected by elimination of gas tax indexing

Question 1 passed, repealing the 2013 law that automatically increases gas taxes according to inflation. Does that mean funding for the Green Line Extension is at risk? Fortunately, the answer is no.

At the Somerville Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner this past Wednesday, MBTA GM Beverly Scott very clearly stated that the GLX will not be affected by the failure of gas tax indexing. The MBTA had provided the Feds with a financing plan that took the possibility of elimination of gas tax indexing into account and they were OK with it.

One thing that GM Scott acknowledged at the meeting (reflecting on 10 years of community advocacy for the GLX) is that we have been waiting for this needed transit improvement for over 19 years.

October 20, 2014

Vote No on Question 1

The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership is writing you to urge you to VOTE NO on Ballot Question 1 on Election Day, November 4, 2014. By voting no you want the legislation passed in 2013 indexing the gas tax to inflation to remain in effect.

After many years of advocacy and terrific community support, Somerville is benefiting from major transportation improvements. The new Orange Line station at Assembly Square is open. While the MBTA and MassDOT are committed to extend the Green Line Extension and Community Path these projects could be delayed or even jeopardized if the Commonwealth does not have a stable source of funding for transportation infrastructure.

Read more

October 18, 2014

More artists selected for Green Line Extension Art Program


MassDOT announced that it has selected five artists for the second phase of the GLX Integrated Art Program. Out of 70 submissions, there are five artists whose work will become an integrated part of four of the new GLX stations (Gilman Square, Lowell Street, Ball Square & College Avenue). They will work directly with the design team architects in the incorporation of artwork in the stations.

The artists are Beth Galston, Nancy Selvage, Aaron Stephan, Matt Trimble, and Christine Vaillancourt.

October 04, 2014

Green Line station designs almost final, opening dates slip

The Green Line Extension Working Group met on Thursday and heard some important updates on the project. The good news is that the station designs for Lechmere, Washington St, and Union Square (referred to as Phase 2) are at 90%, and the other stations (Phase 4) are at 60% design.

The bad news is that the schedule has slipped a bit from earlier promises. What we're hearing now:

  • Phase 2 early construction is now approved to proceed.
  • Nov 2015: Phase 4 construction begins.
  • Dec 2017: Lechmere, Washington St, and Union Square stations open. (Formerly estimated for 2016 or early 2017.)
  • Summer 2020: Other stations open. (Formerly estimated for 2019.)

There was also discussion about the overall cost estimate, sustainability of the project, and Tufts development. Hop over to MGNA for detailed meeting notes.

October 02, 2014

Green Line construction update

On Sept 18, MassDOT held a public hearing about what's coming up with the Green Line construction. You can now download the presentation, which includes information on the funding timeline, an update on current construction, and details on upcoming construction.

September 14, 2014

Cost of Green Line Extension rises

The latest estimates are in, and the Green Line Extension will likely cost $1.6 billion, with an additional budget cushion increasing that potential total to $2 billion. (Of course, the project would have been cheaper if it were built to its original deadlines, 2011 or 2014!)

Boston Globe: "Green Line extension cost is going up several million dollars"

September 03, 2014

Photos: The new Assembly stop is open!

Here are some photos from the opening ceremony yesterday.

Assembly stop opening

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Read more updates about the Green Line, Orange Line, or STEP.