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Green Line Extension Green Line Extension

A Green Line Extension Update from MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola

January 25, 2016

I want to update you on the status of the Green Line Extension project. As work on determining the future of the project continues, I look forward to both informing and hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to share comments and ideas with us at

On December 14, 2015, at a joint meeting, the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation jointly and unanimously adopted a resolution that laid out the Boards' position on additional funding for the Green Line Extension project. The resolution incorporated key lessons learned from a recent 'look-back' analysis. In their resolution, the Boards recognized that, "the Green Line Extension is a long-standing commitment under the state's Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan which has many transportation, economic development and environmental benefits not only for Cambridge, Somerville and Medford but for the greater Boston region and economy." But, the resolution finds, "the Green Line Extension as procured and designed is not affordable or cost-effective for the MBTA given its other needs; and the existing Construction Manager/General Contractor contract documents do not provide sufficient cost reliability or risk allocation for the MBTA."

The resolution states that "until a cost-effective, affordable version of the project has been redesigned and re-procured, cancelling the project and investing the unspent Commonwealth share of the project funding on the core MBTA system will remain an option for both Boards." The resolution sets out a series of conditions that must be met for the Green Line Extension project to proceed, including:

  • Undertaking value engineering and redesign to substantially reduce the cost of delivering the project while maintaining its core functionality. This work is already underway (some additional information can be found in the "Draft GLX 90 Day Plan".
  • Developing a re-procurement strategy that will ensure that a reliable cost estimate, viable cost reduction strategies, and appropriate risk allocation will be incorporated into the GLX project going forward.
  • Putting in place new project management both within the MBTA and for needed third-party professional services.
  • Limiting additional Commonwealth funding and instead focusing on obtaining any needed additional funding from other sources, such as the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization and the municipalities, landowners, and developers benefitting from the project.

Pursuant to this directive, MassDOT and the MBTA are working together to develop and execute a 90-day plan that will result in a report to both the MassDOT Board of Directors and the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board on whether and how to proceed with the project. This 90-day review will focus on four areas: (1) project management; (2) redesign; (3) re-procurement; and (4) the development of a reliable cost estimate and schedule. Preliminary information on the 90-day review can be found in the "Draft GLX 90 Day Plan".

I ask for your patience and assistance as we work through this very challenging situation. The GLX Project Team and MassDOT/MBTA as a whole are focused on addressing the issues as quickly and as thoughtfully as possible. However, we must make sure that we completely understand the current cost-to-complete of the overall project, as well as the implications of any changes to the project design.

Over the next months, the MBTA will be holding public workshops to hear from you on potential redesign and cost-savings strategies. We will post information about those meetings to this website.

It is crucial that we approach these challenges with cooperation and collaboration. In that spirit, I urge you to share your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions at

Thank you for your continued interest in the Green Line Extension project.

Frank DePaola
MBTA General Manager


There are no meetings currently scheduled.

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