Green Line
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Green Line Extension opening delayed

Today’s joint meeting of the MassDOT Board and the Fiscal and Management Control Board included an update on the Green Line Extension, and there’s a bit of bad news. The Union Square line will open in December instead of October, and the Medford branch will open in May 2022 instead of December. There were rumors that such a delay was coming.

View the slides for more details.

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Green Line
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Here’s a 1902 map of all the electric trolleys and trains we used to have

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Green Line
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Green Line Extension under budget, will benefit richer, whiter riders

“A remarkable turnaround for Green Line extension” (CommonWealth Magazine)

“The idea that extending the Green Line from Lechmere into Somerville and Medford could come in under budget is somewhat remarkable given its tangled and tortured history. In its early stages, the price tag of the project ballooned from $2 billion to $3 billion and forced state transportation officials to redesign and revamp the project to eliminate roughly $1 billion in costs.”

“MBTA finds that the Green Line Extension will disproportionately benefit richer, whiter riders” (Boston.com)

“Somerville — which will see the percentage of residents within a half-mile of a transit stop increase from 20 percent to 80 percent when GLX service begins — has seen its old, blue-collar reputation transformed by an influx of young professionals and new development in the years since state officials first committed to the long-delayed project in the 1990s.

‘I think it’s fair to say the demographics of the neighborhoods encompassing GLX have changed,’ [Lynsey] Heffernan [the T’s director of policy and strategic planning] said.”

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Green Line
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Great drone footage of Green Line construction

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Health Issues, McGrath Blvd, Uncategorized
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Highway justice for people: Mystic & McGrath rally Wednesday, May 26

JOIN:
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
State Reps Christine Barber, Mike Connolly
Mayor Joe Curtatone
City Councillors Matt McLaughlin (Ward 1), Jesse Clingan (Ward 4)
…to demand that MassDOT prioritize the safety of people over the speed of cars.

Tell MassDOT to:

  • Accelerate McGrath/Mystic Ave. improvements
  • Create Blakeley Ave. crosswalk NOW
  • Enact traffic calming measures now
  • Erect sound barriers along Rte. I-93 to reduce noise pollution

RALLY 6pm
Meet at the corner of McGrath Hwy. and Broadway at the former gas station lot (empty lot across from Foss Park). Attendees must follow Somerville’s Covid-19 mask and social distancing policy.

Organized by Somerville Alliance for Safe Streets (somervillesafestreets@gmail.com)

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Green Line
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Union Square station to open in October, Medford line in December

Good news from the MBTA: General Manager Steve Poftak revealed at the March 29 MBTA board meeting that the Green Line construction is on schedule and that the Union Square branch will likely open in October, with the other stations along the Medford line opening in December.

Edward Orde on Twitter noticed that the MBTA map at the Ruggles station already includes the Green Line Extension:

The new map also shows that the Riverside “D” branch will run to Union Square and the Heath Street “E” branch will run to Medford.

It’s coming!

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Green Line
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Public art coming to the Green Line Extension

New Green Line Stops Bring New Public Art to Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge (StreetsBlog)

In a statement, MBTA officials wrote that “this GLX Art Enrichment Program seeks to contribute to the vibrancy of the GLX communities by investing in the success of local artists… The goal is to enhance existing station elements to create a warm and welcoming environment in key areas experienced by the riding public, to both unify and differentiate stations, and to enhance the connection between the station and the community.”

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Green Line
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Watch Green Line construction on these live cameras

Can’t wait for the Green Line Extension to open? Curious how the construction is going? Now you can watch via several live cameras positioned along the line.

Here’s a camera near Ball Square:



View more live cameras

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Green Line
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Dec 9 Green Line public meeting

If you missed the official Green Line Extension construction update, you can watch it here or view the slides.

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Buses
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STEP letter to MBTA on proposed cuts

We in Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) can appreciate that the MBTA is going through difficult financial stresses due to the loss of ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, that like other transit systems across the US, the agency is trying to find ways to stem the continuing loss in revenue through the proposed Forging Ahead plan. However, we are alarmed about the harm those cuts will do regionally both during the pandemic and long term.

The current challenges transit-dependent front-line workers face are enormous and must be met. In the near term, front line workers throughout the metro area who rely on the MBTA to get to work, already commute in a stressful, potentially hazardous environment, often working late hours and taking multiple modes of transit. The proposed service cuts will disproportionately affect those workers, who don’t have jobs that can be done from home. The fact that the buses and subway cars aren’t crowded currently is a good thing to minimize the spread of the virus. 

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