“…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.””