The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) received a $996 million federal grant agreement to extend Green Line light rail service from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford. The extension will provide faster and more efficient travel to jobs in downtown Boston and will serve some of the region’s most densely populated communities.
“This project will put time back in the lives of commuters along this corridor, but the real story is about the potential for change this smart investment will bring for residents,” said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “We are proud to support projects like this one because when you connect people to more jobs, education and medical care, you create the ladders to opportunity that strengthens families and the communities in which they live.”
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The 4.7-mile light rail extension will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. The project will serve some of the Boston region’s most heavily populated areas not currently served by rail transit — where 26% of residents do not own or have access to cars.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will contribute approximately $996 million in Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant Program funding over the course of the $2.3 billion project. State funding sources will cover the remainder.
MBTA estimates the new extended light rail line will provide approximately 37,900 daily trips when the extension opens in 2021. The project will include construction of six new stations, purchase of 24 new light rail vehicles, construction of a new vehicle maintenance facility, construction of a community bicycle and pedestrian path in Somerville, and relocation of some existing commuter rail track.