Green Line

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Green Line Extension closing for four weeks, Medford branch opening delayed again

It hasn’t been a good summer for the MBTA — and certainly not for its riders. The T announced two pieces of bad news:

Starting Aug 22, the Green Line will close between Government Center and Union Square for four weeks. They say the closure is necessary to complete the Medford branch work, as well as work on the Government Center Garage. Very disappointing. There will be shuttle buses offered.

Phase 2 of the Green Line Extension, originally supposed to open last December, then May, then late summer, is now planned for late November. Reasons include work and re-testing of the power systems and availability of Safety and Operational support crews. Also very disappointing.

MBTA Press Release

“MBTA to close Green Line north of Government Center for 4 weeks” (Boston Globe)

“MBTA will shut down Green Line service from downtown Boston to Somerville for nearly a month” (WBUR)

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Green Line Extension phase 2 opens late summer

“Green Line Extension to Medford was set to start service in December, then May, then this summer. Now? ‘Tracking for late summer,’ T says.” (Boston Globe)

Slated to start carrying passengers in December, then May, then this summer, the branch and its five new stations are now scheduled to open for business in “late summer,” said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo via e-mail….

Laurel Ruma is a Green Line Extension citizen representative charged with communicating with the communities around the Medford branch’s northern stops and the MBTA about the project. She said people are anxious to see the stations open after enduring years of construction in their backyards.

“Whether it’s late summer or early fall, we know it’s within sight,” she said. “You can see the stations are built, bike racks are in, it looks like a train station right now.”

Ruma calls the College Avenue Station the “temporary terminus” of the Green Line Extension and is urging the MBTA to conduct an environmental review of extending the line to Route 16, the Mystic Valley Parkway.

“It’s ripe for having a walk-up train station,” she said. “Our argument as community advocates is that there is money available for an environmental review.”

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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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Yes we did

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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 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 official opening event

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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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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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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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