Test Trains Running on MBTA Green Line Extension as Project Nears Completion

The project to extend the Green Line of the MBTA into Somerville and Medford is expected to be finished this summer, with the station at Union Square set to open next month

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Progress is being made on a long-term project to extend the MBTA's Green Line.

Sparkling new test trains are running on the Green Line Extension as the MBTA works out the choreography of a line that will eventually go through Somerville and into Medford.



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MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the project "was frankly dead. That essentially crashed and burned in 2015 and 2016."

It was resurrected with an influx of money from the federal government. Twenty-four new trains will run to Union Square Station starting next month. The pandemic helped speed construction by reducing train and auto traffic.

"We had some impacts that weren't beneficial. Supply chain, we really felt, some labor impacts, so it was kind of a mixed bag," said project manager John Dalton.

Some businesses along the tracks have been hurt during construction, like Good Gas across from the Gilman Square station construction. Street closures created traffic nightmares.

"A lot of business has decreased due to the traffic jams, and some parts delivery men that try to deliver to us can't get to us because they are under the impression the street is closed," said Edwin Sola, the store's manager.

Poftak says he gets that.

"We're very appreciative of everyone's patience as this has been built," he said. "We know it's been disruptive, but we're really excited to open up the Union Square branch in March, and we think it's going to be great for the area."

Tom Galligani, the economic development director for Somerville, says it's led to a building boom along the line.

"We know our pipeline is really full, and so over the next couple months and years, we're really going to see millions and millions of new square feet of commercial building happening in Somerville," Galligani said.

The Green Line will eventually run to Tufts University in Medford. Poftak says that part will open this summer, but the exact date has not been set.

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