he US Federal Government has committed $996m for the Green Line extension (GLX) from Cambridge into Somerville and Medford, Massachusetts.
Under the proposed GLX Project, the line will be extended from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford.
The Boston Globe reported that this investment will encourage economic development, transform communities and also provide a one-ride transit option from as far away as the Tufts Medford campus into downtown Boston.
The US Federal Transit Administration has estimated the project cost to be nearly $2.3bn. The remaining funding will be provided by the state.
Somerville mayor Joseph A Curtatone was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We know the impact the Green Line will have to improve our quality of life in the region and to help Somerville reach its goals.”
Started planning in 2005, this light rail project is expected to enhance local and regional mobility, address longstanding transportation inequities and result in fewer automobiles on local roads, as well as minimise the greenhouse gas emissions and other components of air pollution.
The first portion of the project is expected to be completed by 2017 and the remaining parts by 2020.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) spokesman Joe Pesaturo was quoted as saying that the new Lechmere, Union Square and Washington Street stations would open by 2017, while the Gilman Square, Lowell Street, Ball Square and College Avenue stations would be open by 2020.