After months of work, today the interim Green Line team shared their final report with the two decision-making boards, outlining a plan to bring down the overall cost of the Green Line Extension. The scaled-back Green Line and Community Path are consistent with plans they’ve been presenting at recent public meetings. Download the presentation or the full report.
Here’s what survives in the new proposed plan:
- All seven Green Line stations in their previously planned locations
- Identical platform size, functionality, and frequency of service
- An unacceptable version of the Community Path (see below)
- 24 new Green Line cars
Here’s what’s different:
- The stations are greatly scaled back. Instead of buildings, we get simple platforms with modest weather shelters. They will still be ADA accessible, but there are sacrifices. Fewer elevators and stairs, no escalators. Very barebones but functional.
- The Community Path takes a much less expensive route that is at best inconvenient and at most dangerous, as part of it forces cyclists and pedestrians onto McGrath Highway! See more details.
- More simplification when it comes to the much smaller maintenance facility, bridge designs, and power and signal systems.
- Cost savings from improved construction conditions and timing.
As a result of these changes, the Green Line team estimates they can bring the cost down from around $3 billion to less than $2.3 billion (not including around $300 million of finance charges). Separately, the Boston MPO recently voted to move $152 million in federal highway funds (targeted to a later Route 16 Green Line stop) to this project. Also separately, Somerville and Cambridge pledged $75 million toward the Green Line.
So when you add it all up, the remaining funding gap is $73 million (again, not including those finance charges). In the overall scheme of things, that’s very promising.