The MBTA's Green Line Extension to Medford has officially opened to passengers, after the first train departed just before 5 a.m. Monday.
Dozens of people lined up to hop onto the first couple of trains that left the brand new Medford/Tufts Station, one of five new stops the MBTA built for the new extension to the Green Line.
The extension project connects Medford and Somerville to the rest of the line of the Green Line, and has been years in the making.
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The extension runs from a relocated Lechmere Station through the five new stations: East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square and finally the College Avenue Station at Tufts.
It took over $2 billion and several years of construction to complete the biggest extension of the system in decades. There were multiple setbacks during the process, including delays.
Leaders and locals, though, seem to think the extension has been worth the wait. Medford's mayor told NBC10 Boston last week she believes the bolstered public transit will be a big step forward for the city.
"It’s just such a positive thing for the community," Mayor Breanna Lungo Koehn said. "You’re also going to see a number of developers that are going to want to build housing. And people want to live and work near transit. So you’re going to see a great amount of development in and around this district."
Some Tufts students even woke up early Monday, braving the cold and snow, to experience the first trips aboard the extended line.
“We were originally weren’t going to come but we decided why not, it will be fun," one student said. "We’re really excited.”
Jed Paul, a well-known TikToker who frequently records videos of himself riding the MBTA, said he's seen a lot of excitement around Monday's opening.
"Probably the most excited I've felt in a while," Paul said. "I would say it's the biggest news to come out of the MBTA since the Orange Line caught fire... but this is a much more positive story. And I plan to ride the train very soon."
Paul said he believes projects like this can help to boost public perception of the MBTA.
"Anything that increases access to transit is a good play in my book," Paul said. "It gets people excited, people are riding it, and the T seemed pretty excited about having people line up to ride first thing in the morning."
Some people, though, aren't as enthused about the potential impacts of the transit project.
The Community Action Agency of Somerville held a community march Monday morning, intended to draw attention to increased gentrification and displacement along the extension.
The first branch of the Green Line extension opened back in March, which added service from Lechmere to Union Square in Somerville.
The MBTA said it expects the project to greatly reduce vehicle emissions on the road, by supporting an increased ridership of 50,000 riders per day.
Green Line service changes that went into effect Monday include: