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MBTA Receives Over $66 Million in Federal Funding for Accessibility Improvements at Symphony Station

Posted on December 20, 2022

The MBTA is pleased to announce that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded the T with over $66 million in funding for accessibility improvements at Symphony station, which was constructed in 1941 and is one of downtown Boston’s last inaccessible underground Green Line stations. The funding comes as part of the FTA’s FY 2022 All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), which aims to improve America’s oldest transit systems nationwide so they are accessible for people with disabilities. This is the first round of this new competitive grant program that was authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) signed by President Biden in 2021.

“We are thrilled to be awarded this ASAP grant for Symphony station, which furthers our commitment to accessible transit systemwide for riders of all abilities,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This funding is the result of the MBTA’s aggressive strategy in seeking federal discretionary funds and also serves as a critical component of our wider efforts to modernize the Green Line. We appreciate the support of the congressional delegation, local officials, and countless individuals and advocacy groups who have engaged with us to move the project forward.”

As part of the Green Line Transformation program, the MBTA’s Capital Programs team is working on major improvements as part of the Symphony Station Accessibility Improvements Project, which will enhance the customer experience, modernize the Station, and ensure equitable access to public transit on the Green Line E Branch, which serves one of Boston’s busiest cultural and historical neighborhoods. This discretionary federal funding will allow for the construction of four new elevators, step-free pathways, accessible single-stall bathrooms, improved wayfinding and lighting elements, upgraded safety features, and raised platforms for easier boarding of trains. 

The design work for the project is 100% complete, and the MBTA has a contract in place to start utility relocation in the spring of 2023. This work will not impact Green Line service. In the fall of 2023, the MBTA plans to solicit bids for the station work, which will begin in 2024.

This grant award marks another funding win for the MBTA, which has followed an aggressive strategy to pursue federal discretionary funds in order to support capital needs across the system. Since the passage of BIL in 2021, the MBTA and its partners have won more than 10 competitive grant awards totaling over $240 million dollars to help fund MBTA capital needs, including an unprecedented $116 million award this summer 2022 from the FTA to support the purchase of battery-electric buses (BEB). This award was the largest in the nation (tied with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority) and is a significant boost to the T’s aggressive transition toward an entirely zero-emission fleet of over 1,100 buses by 2040.

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