Transit Projects
T Project Green Line B Accessibility 215 thumbNew, multi-modal Commonwealth Avenue design; a cooperative effort between the MBTA, City of Boston, MassDOT Highway and Boston University  (looking east)

Green Line, B Line Stations Accessibility and Consolidation Project


In 2014, the City of Boston presented their Commonwealth Avenue-Phase 2A Project to the MBTA. Because the road work was integral with the MBTA stations in this corridor, accessibility code 521 CMR was triggered requiring accessibility compliance at four MBTA stations: BU West, St. Paul, Pleasant, and Babcock. The MBTA commenced work with the City and Boston University to try to resolve the code compliance issues.

Upon review, it was determined that the four stations could not be made compliant as is. The locations do not meet the requirements under State Building Code 780 CMR and Transit Code NFPA 130. There is a lack of available real estate required to widen the reservation to meet 48" minimum platform widths under 521 CMR never mind the additional space required for the deployment and storage of portable lifts.

The MBTA then decided to review options for station consolidation in this same congested corridor as a means of achieving accessibility and improving headways for Green Line trains.  A number of factors were reviewed.  

The MBTA requires a minimum of 12 feet- 9 inches from centerline of track to inside face of the road barrier to meet code for platform widths. Again, we require added width in the center of the platforms to store and deploy mobile lifts. Added width in the center is also required for the 150 feet of canopies and assorted benches on each platform. Non-stations areas require 11 feet from center line of track to any perimeter fence or curb for worker safety. And our bus stops along this corridor must also be accessible and provide a high level of safety for MBTA patrons and cycling enthusiasts.   

The MBTA's preferred option will consolidate the four existing stations down to two new stations. The new stations will be centrally located, touch the same intersections and have the same total capacity as the four existing stations. We will achieve code compliance with level boarding, reduce travel times by up to 3 minutes, improve Green Line reliability, build modern facilities to latest MBTA standards, improve the customer experience, further enhance safety, create 225 foot platforms for 3-car train sets, include fare validation, public address and security systems.  

There has been a very high level of coordination with the City of Boston, Boston University, and MassDOT Highway on their Commonwealth Avenue Phase 2A project. Coordination with MassDOT's Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project has also been very strong. The goal is to make our stations accessible, improve customer service, enhance safety and overall to help improve the quality of life in the city for pedestrians and our ridership.

The Project recently completed 30% design and is moving forward to 100% design; anticipated by the end of 2016. Construction will begin in 2017 and take up to 24 months.    


Submitted: Curtis Nikitas | MBTA Project Manager | | 857-207-2839