The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) are proposing to extend the MBTA Green Line from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. While proposals to extend public transit service north from Lechmere date back many decades, the current phase of planning began in 2005 with the completion of the MBTA's Beyond Lechmere Northwest Corridor Study Major Investment Study/Alternatives Analysis. Planning has been underway since.
Bringing MBTA light rail service to this corridor will greatly improve local and regional mobility, address longstanding transportation inequities, result in fewer automobiles on local roads, and help to combat greenhouse gas emissions and other components of air pollution. The Green Line Extension will also support municipal plans for sustainable growth and urban redevelopment and provide residents of environmental justice communities with faster rides to jobs and other destinations.
The proposed service consists of two distinct branches: a "mainline" branch which will operate within the existing right-of-way for the MBTA Lowell Line, beginning at a relocated Lechmere Station in Cambridge and traveling north to Medford; and a branch line operating within the existing right-of-way for the MBTA Fitchburg Line to Union Square in Somerville. There will be seven new stations constructed as part of the project, including the relocated Lechmere Station. A vehicle storage and maintenance facility will also be constructed. In addition to the infrastructure needs of the project, MassDOT will prepare final engineering for the proposed extension of the Somerville Community Path between Lowell Street and Inner Belt Road in Somerville. Once completed, trains will operate every five to six minutes in the peak periods, providing fast and efficient service to downtown Boston.
The Green Line Extension is a top transportation priority of the Commonwealth. It offers a number of benefits:
- A one-seat ride from the project corridor to downtown Boston, (eliminating the need for bus and rail transfers at Lechmere Station and at Orange and Red Line stations) improving travel times within the project corridor.
- A projected reduction in regional daily Vehicle Miles Traveled by 25,728 miles, improving air quality and reducing automobile congestion.
- Daily ridership (boardings and alightings) at the seven Green Line Extension stations of approximately 45,000 by 2030. The majority of those trips will be made beginning in the first year of service on the Green Line Extension.
- A commitment to universal access, with new stations that will meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
- Operation in existing railroad rights-of-way, reducing the need to purchase local property and minimizing construction impacts.
- Mitigation measures that will reduce existing noise and vibration impacts from area railroads.
For more information about the project, please review the documents posted to this website. For more information on the Green Line Extension Project, please contact the project staff.