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For Immediate Release: 03/05/2014
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

Green Line Extension Gets Nod from President Obama

FY15 Budget Includes $100 Million 

BOSTON – Wednesday, March 5, 2014 – President Obama in his budget released yesterday recommended federal funding to support the Green Line Extension (GLX), marking a significant milestone for a project that will bring thousands of new jobs to the region and create new economic opportunity.  

The President’s proposal includes $100 million in Federal Fiscal Year 2015 and paves the way for agreement with the federal government for greater support over the next several years.  

“I thank President Obama and his Administration for recognizing the critical importance of completing the Green Line Extension,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “This historic commitment of federal New Starts Program funds, when matched with state contributions, will fulfill a promise made during construction of the Central Artery Project and complete the long-awaited extension of rail service to Somerville and Medford.  

With the first phase of construction already underway, we are already clearly seeing the economic opportunity and jobs created through this project. This wise federal and state investment will unlock the potential economic growth along the new Green Line corridor and leave a legacy of greater mobility for residents and smart environmental benefits in one of the Commonwealth’s most densely-populated areas.” 

Earlier this year, the Patrick Administration requested that the federal government fund 50 percent of the $1.428 billion project.

The Green Line Extension project is an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).This important project will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford.

“We have been working closely with the Obama Administration on the Green Line Extension and this is an important step forward in securing the federal funding necessary for construction,” stated Congressman Mike Capuano, a member of the House Transportation Committee. “The environmental and economic benefits of extending the Green Line are tremendous and residents are overwhelmingly supportive of it. Today’s news brings us closer to the day when commuters can enjoy expanded transit service.”

The GLX project will greatly improve public transit service in some of the most densely-populated municipalities of the Commonwealth. Among its many benefits, the Green Line Extension project will provide new and better opportunities for residents and visitors to travel within their communities and within the region, address longstanding transportation inequities. It will also result in fewer automobiles on local roads and help combat greenhouse gas emissions and other components of air pollution.

“The Green Line Extension offers Somerville and the region both economic justice and environmental justice, connecting residents with jobs that pay a livable wage and health care while reducing the number of cars on the road and pollution in the air we all breathe, as well shifting us to a more sustainable mode of transit,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Somerville owes thanks to President Obama and Congressman Michael Capuano for committing in this budget to economic and environmental justice for our residents and to smart, long-term infrastructure investments that will build the 21st century transportation system we need to have a 21st century economy. This commitment needs local, state and federal government working together toward a common goal, and we are fortunate to have our partners in Washington fighting to make the Green Line Extension a reality, along with Gov. Patrick, Sec. Davey, the MassDOT Board of Directors and all our state partners. Our 20-year comprehensive SomerVision plan sets goals of creating 30,000 new jobs and 6,000 new homes in Somerville, all while creating walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods that reduce our reliance our cars and boost our economy, both in our city and across the region. The Green Line Extension is crucial to reaching those goals and investing in it today means billions of dollars pumping through the Massachusetts economy in the years to come.”

MassDOT has already begun work on the project with early action bridge and roadway upgrades currently underway in Somerville and Medford.   Major utility relocation and site preparation work is scheduled to begin later this year with full construction commencing in the spring of 2015.  

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot  blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT   and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.

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