Green Line

Green Line
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Big infrastructure projects such as the Green Line cost more than they should

“Why does it cost so much to build things in America?” (Vox)

“The 4.3-mile [Green Line] light rail project was estimated to cost $1.12 billion in 2012 — by 2015, that number had nearly tripled.

The researchers were able to identify a few reasons for what happened to the Green Line: Jockeying between two different understaffed agencies with little experience managing large projects and consultants, a laissez-faire approach to allowing stakeholders’ expensive ideas to be added to the project scope ‘even if impractical,’ and public pressure for more as the project dragged on and the demand for transit options increased.”

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

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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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Great drone footage of Green Line construction

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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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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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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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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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Green Line progress at Lechmere

While we’re all still stuck at home, construction continues on the Green Line Extension. Thanks to Richard McKinnon of East Cambridge for this photo overlooking the coming Lechmere station.

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