Buses
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MBTA proposes big changes to Somerville buses

The Better Bus Project‘s goal is to create a more equitable network with more frequent service, better connections, and more all-day service every day. The new proposed bus map is now available at MBTA.com/BNRD and it would mean many changes for Somerville riders. STEP will be analyzing the proposal and sharing our thoughts. There will be opportunities to provide your own feedback on the new bus routes, at MBTA events and using this form.

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Green Line
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Roundup of Green Line coverage

“Decades in the making, Green Line Extension to Somerville’s Union Square finally opens for passengers” (Boston Globe)

“GLX opening a major achievement for the T” (CommonWealth Magazine)

“The MBTA’s Green Line finally goes all the way to Somerville” (WBUR)

“Green Line Extension pulls into the Somerville’s Union Square … finally!” (Boston Herald)

“Somerville, Cambridge celebrate GLX opening” (Somerville Times)

“At last: the trains have come to Somerville; first new Green Line Station opens” (Wicked Local)

“Green Line service to Somerville starts with new branch of GLX” (WCVB)

“Green Line Extension Service to Union Square in Somerville Begins Monday” (NBC Boston)

“MBTA’s Green Line Extension Opens With 2 New Stations” (CBS Boston)

“Photos: The Green Line Extension’s Opening Day” (StreetsBlog)

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Green Line
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Yes we did

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Green Line
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GREEN LINE OPENS! Official ceremony at Lechmere

Speeches amidst the glorious rumble of trains overhead.

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Green Line
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GREEN LINE OPENS! Celebratory ride from new Union Square station

The STEP crew is beyond overjoyed at the opening of Phase 1 of the Green Line Extension today. A few of us joined present and former mayors and a crowd of many others who helped make the Green Line a reality over so many years. THE TRAINS ARE RUNNING, SOMERVILLE!

The station from Prospect St bridge.
Station entrance with the glorious sign we’ve been waiting for.
So many Somerville mayors!
All aboard!
Mayor Ballantyne talking with STEP’s Ellin Reisner and Karen Molloy.

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Green Line
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Green Line official opening event

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Green Line
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Green Line extension phase 1 opens March 21!

“Green Line extension to Union Square will open March 21, MBTA says” (Boston Globe)

New stations at Lechmere and Union Square will welcome passengers that day, marking a major milestone for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which has been discussing extending the Green Line for decades.

“It’s a really proud moment for the T, a really important moment for the region, and really a symbol that we can do big things and we can get things done,” said MBTA General Manger Steve Poftak at a MBTA board meeting.

The timing of the opening of the separate and much longer Green Line extension branch to Medford, which includes five new stations, was tentatively scheduled for May, but may not start carrying passengers until summer.

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Green Line
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The Green Line Extension starts to open next month, Somerville!

“And now . . . the Green Line Extension. For real, this time, the T promises.” (Boston Globe)

“…more than three decades after the state first promised to extend the Green Line as environmental mitigation for the Big Dig, test trains are gliding along the tracks between North Station and Union Square ahead of a planned opening of the project’s first branch next month….

The extension will have to pass federal safety certifications, Poftak said, and the T is still working on finishing the two new stations and training drivers. The timing of the opening of the much longer second branch to Medford, which includes five new stations, was tentatively scheduled for May, but may not start carrying passengers until summer….

As part of the foundation’s settlement with the state in 2007, the state committed to extending the Green Line to Route 16, further than the current project calls for. Rubin said the foundation views the branches to Union Square and Tufts as the first phase of the Green Line extension and is urging the MBTA to complete an environmental impact review and cost assessment of adding a Route 16 station.

“It is really important to get this over the finish line,” she said. As currently planned, Rubin said, the Medford branch doesn’t meet the 2007 agreement.

Poftak said the Route 16 addition is still in the “planning and permitting phase.””

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McGrath Blvd
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Remember the McGrath Boulevard project? It’s still in the works!

MassDOT is slated to resurface McGrath Highway soon and remove one lane of traffic in each direction as a road diet to repurpose the lanes as buffered bike lanes. In parallel, MassDOT is also advancing the McGrath Boulevard project to 25% design.

Recap: The McGrath Boulevard project will remove the McCarthy Overpass section of McGrath Highway and replace it with a street-level multimodal boulevard. The conceptual design was the result of MassDOT’s consensus-driven process with the Somerville community and other regional stakeholders between 2015-2018.

When the project reaches 25% design, MassDOT will initiate public outreach and opportunities for community feedback. View the official project page.

The McGrath Boulevard project (#607981) is identified in the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Destination 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan in the FFY 2025-2030 timeframe. 

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Green Line
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Gov. Baker and our Mayor(s) test out the Green Line Extension

“Baker goes on GLX joyride” (CommonWealth Magazine)

Somerville mayor-elect Katjana Ballantyne, who joined current Mayor Joseph Curtatone at the press availability at the new Lechmere stop in Cambridge, also provided a preview of what is likely to become a common refrain as the Green Line extension opens: How come it took so long?

Ballantyne took out a copy of the Somerville Journal from 2005. On the front page was a picture of her 7-year-old daughter, who spoke out in favor of the project at a meeting attended by former mayor Michael Capuano and then-MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas.

Ballantyne said her daughter came over to her after she spoke and asked: “Momma, when can I ride the train? I said maybe when you’re a senior in high school.”

Ballantyne added: “She’s 25 now.”

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