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MBTA Celebrates Opening of the Green Line Extension Medford Branch

Posted on December 12, 2022

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito were today joined by federal, state, MassDOT, MBTA, and local leadership to celebrate the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension.
Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito were today joined by federal, state, MassDOT, MBTA, and local leadership to celebrate the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension.

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak today joined federal, state, and local officials to celebrate the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension (GLX). Following a ceremony dedicating the new Green Line Vehicle Maintenance Facility to former Congressman Mike Capuano and a ribbon cutting at the new Tufts/Medford Station, the celebration was held at the Joyce Cummings Center at Tufts University.

“The Green Line Extension will have a transformational impact on the cities of Somerville, Medford, and Cambridge by providing the region with access to important public transit and we are pleased today to bring the Medford Branch into service after years of planning and coordination,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This project is the product of the collaboration of federal, state, local, and community partners, and will bring economic growth and improve opportunities to education and jobs for many years to come.”

“Students and community members in Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford now have a one-seat ride from their homes and schools directly to downtown Boston and into communities across the MBTA system,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration has recognized the importance of expanded transit options and made the Green Line Extension a priority and we’re excited to see this project brought to fruition.”

With Green Line Medford Branch service, riders now have a convenient one-seat ride from Medford and Somerville to downtown Boston, the Longwood Medical Area, and beyond.

“It has been very fulfilling to see MBTA projects in many locations completed, including new stations, new track and signals, grade crossing work, and other improvements,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “Certainly, the Green Line Extension Project will go down in the annuals of local history as a project with a huge economic impact and impact on our MBTA customers. The project is just one example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to providing safe and equitable transportation networks that support the Commonwealth’s transit, economic, climate, and public health goals.”

Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler today celebrated the opening of the GLX Medford Branch.
Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler today celebrated the opening of the GLX Medford Branch.

The Medford Branch runs approximately 3.7 miles to College Avenue in Medford and includes five fully accessible stations located at East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square, and Medford/Tufts stations. With the opening of Green Line Extension, the MBTA estimates 26,000 vehicle trips per day will be removed from local streets.   

“The opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line today marks another remarkable accomplishment for the MBTA after many years of hard work and billions of dollars in investments in the system, culminating in improved transit options for current and new riders to come in the Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford communities,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I’d like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for its continued support of GLX as the T followed through on its commitment to rejuvenate and complete this project; the Federal Transit Administration and our federal partners for their support of GLX and investments in safety, maintenance, infrastructure, and public transportation; our MassDOT partners for their continued guidance; our municipal partners for their eagerness and advocacy; GLX Program Manager John Dalton and the entire GLX team; and the many stakeholders, advocates, GLX neighbors, and members of the community who have partnered with us and supported the project. We’re excited to become an integral part of the landscape of these new neighborhoods that we now serve, and the MBTA looks forward to offering expanded Green Line service for many years to come.”

MBTA General Manager Poftak offered remarks at today’s GLX Medford Branch opening celebration.
MBTA General Manager Poftak offered remarks at today’s GLX Medford Branch opening celebration.

Green Line trains are anticipated to operate every five to six minutes in the peak hours, providing safe and reliable service in areas that did not previously have access to public transit. The Green Line Extension will also significantly reduce vehicle emissions by removing cars from local roadways and improving regional air quality. With the opening of both branches, nearly 80% of Somerville’s population is now within walking distance to a station.

“Since day one of my time in the Senate, I have fought to keep the Green Line Extension project alive, and today I'm thrilled to see this long overdue project completed,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This extension of the Green Line will carry 50,000 riders a day and will promote cleaner air and economic opportunity throughout Medford, Cambridge, Somerville, and the entire Greater Boston region. I'll continue fighting alongside federal, state, and local leaders to support these projects and build out the 21st Century transportation system that our communities deserve.”

“The Green Line Extension is a critical step toward a Green New Deal future in Greater Boston,” said Senator Ed Markey. “I am proud to have worked with my partners in Congress to have secured nearly $1 billion in federal funding to support this community-defining project, and I am grateful to the state, municipal, and community leaders – as well as riders and residents – for their decades of work to make the dream of Green Line service in Somerville and Medford a reality.”

“Today, we celebrate the opening of the Medford Green Line Extension and reaffirm the Commonwealth’s belief that public transit is a public good,” said Assistant U.S. House Speaker and Incoming Democratic Whip Katherine Clark. “This project will deliver long overdue economic development, environmental justice, and public health benefits to communities along the corridor. I thank the countless residents, advocates, and public officials who have worked with our federal delegation to make this moment possible. I am eager to continue our partnership in building a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible Commonwealth.”

“The opening of the GLX stops at Medford/Tufts and Ball Square/South Medford is the culmination of years of advocacy and outreach from so many community leaders and partners, who have spent so much of their free time trying to get this project across the finish line,” said Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn. “With this expansion in public transportation infrastructure, so many of our residents and neighbors now have a reliable and accessible alternative to motor vehicles, which will assist our City in achieving our climate goals of zero emissions by 2050. Thank you to everyone, especially the community working group, for working to make this day a reality.”

“I'm so thrilled the Green Line is now arriving at all Somerville stations. Increasing access to public transit is vital to creating a more equitable future, more jobs, cleaner air, and greater sustainability,” said Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “The MBTA, community transit advocates, our elected officials, and City and State staff all deserve a hearty congratulations for their work to bring this historic public transit expansion to our area. I look forward to joining many of them on the first ever train departing the Tufts/Medford station on December 12.”

“After decades of advocacy, I am thrilled to be celebrating the opening of the Green Line Extension throughout my district in Somerville and Medford,” said Representative Christine Barber. “This public works project is the result of years of hard work from countless community members, laborers, activists, and colleagues in government. I’m proud we've gotten to this day and can celebrate this momentous occasion as well as the introduction of clean public transit through some of the most densely populated areas of our state.”

“We are so excited today to celebrate not just the opening of the full GLX, but the decades of community activism that have made it possible,” said Senator Patricia Jehlen. “There were many times in the past 30 years that this project seemed to be at a dead end. But the dedication and persistence of so many people, most of them unnamed today, and many of them no longer with us, got it over every roadblock.”

“Today’s opening marks the culmination of decades of advocacy by local residents in support of expanded public transit in our community,” said Representative Mike Connolly. “As the State Representative for East Somerville, Union Square Station, Lechmere, and other parts of Somerville and Cambridge, I want to say thank you to all of our state, federal, and municipal partners for making the Green Line Extension a reality. Connecting the Environmental Justice community of East Somerville to the Green Line will help take cars off the road, further reducing environmental burdens in our region. In addition, I am delighted that this project will deliver the Community Path Extension and incorporate work from local artists.”

“We are all so thrilled to fulfill a long-kept promise for transit justice and investing in our public transportation here in Somerville,” said Representative Erika Uyterhoeven.

“Congratulations to Governor Baker and his team,” said former Congressman Mike Capuano. “They delivered transit equity that was promised decades ago. It’s a great way to cap off a successful eight years in office.”

“The T should be very proud that it rose to the challenge to reshape this project, to renew its commitments to the community, and to execute brilliantly despite the myriad challenges from Covid,” said former Chairman of the Fiscal and Management Control Board Joseph Aiello. “The communities of Somerville, Medford, and Cambridge should be proud that their steadfast insistence that this important Big Dig mitigation be built was the key to why we are able to celebrate today.”

“Today’s celebration is the result of decades of work by local officials, community members, and members of the university,” said Tufts University President Anthony Monaco. “We thank everyone who played a role in making public transit a viable, sustainable, and affordable option for the Tufts community and neighbors in our host communities. It’s wonderful to now have the Green Line connect our Boston campuses with the Medford/Somerville campus, and we encourage everyone to take the T to Tufts.”

The $2.3 billion project extends the Green Line approximately 4.7 miles along two branches – the Union Square Branch, which opened to Green Line riders in March 2022, and the new Medford Branch – from the reconstructed Lechmere Station in East Cambridge. Seven new stations in total have been constructed, along with a new vehicle storage and maintenance facility in Somerville and the purchase of 24 new trolleys to augment the existing fleet.
With the new Medford branch open, Green Line E Branch trains will terminate at Medford/Tufts station and D Branch trains will terminate at Union Square station. B and C Branch trains will continue to terminate at Government Center station.


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