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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / MBTA to close part of Green Line for four weeks, pushes back opening of new branch

MBTA to close part of Green Line for four weeks, pushes back opening of new branch

By | August 6, 2022

Service on six-station segment to be replaced by shuttle buses beginning Aug. 22

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Portion of MBTA rail transit map focusing on northern portion of Green Line

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has announced plans for another significant closure of one of its rail transit lines, just two days after saying it would shut down another line entirely.

The Boston Globe reports the MBTA plans to pose a portion of the Green Line for four weeks beginning Aug. 22, and will push back the opening of the Medford Branch by until November, the latest in a series of delays for that new segment.

Portion of MBTA rail transit map focusing on northern portion of Green Line
A detail from the MBTA rail system map shows the portion of the Green Line slated for closure, as well as the yet-to-open Medford Branch. (MBTA)

Green Line operations will be replaced by buses between the Government Center and Union Square stations, a six-station segment, part of which only opened in March. The closure is to accommodate work to prepare for the opening of the Medford branch, a 4.3-mile, five-station addition which will connect to that portion of the line.

“I know it is frustrating, but this is necessary work,” MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said in a media conference call. “… We thought rather than having multiple diversions, multiple closures, and multiple service modes on this part of the Green Line, we would have it be consistent and we would give our forces unencumbered access to the entire workspace.”

Friday’s announcement comes on the heels of the decision to shut down the entire Orange Line for 30 days beginning Aug. 19 [see “MBTA to shut down Orange Line …,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 3, 2022]. The two lines have a short parallel segment between Haymarket and North Station.

An MBTA announcement says the move from a late summer to November opening for the Medford Branch is because of factors “including necessary additional work and re-testing of the Medford Branch’s power systems.” The Globe reports the branch was originally scheduled to open last December, then in March. Test trains began running on the branch in May.

7 thoughts on “MBTA to close part of Green Line for four weeks, pushes back opening of new branch

  1. Doesn’t this mean that for the time period mentioned if you arrive on Amtrak at South Station and want to transfer to the Downeaster from North Station (or vice versa) you will have to take the Red Line to Park Street then transfer to the Green Line to Government Center and then transfer to a bus to take you to North Station? This makes it a three-seat ride between the two stations. And, for instance, you are traveling from NYC or other points south and west of Boston it becomes a five-seat ride to Portland, ME or other points north of Boston. No wonder so many people either drive or fly. This will definitely make the thru bus a better alternative from Portland to New York. Or even to Boston’s South Station. There just doesn’t seem to be any competent people at the MBTA.

  2. This closure shuts down the streetcar subway (Green Line) WHERE IT PARALLELS the Orange Line Subway. In other words, in downtown Boston, you cahn’t get theah from heah.

    BTW Concord Coach seems to have hourly service Portland to South Station. Running time 2 hr 10 min.

    Google maps shows 1.1 miles from one to the other. They estimate 24 minutes walking time. Sounds like a 3 mph walking pace.

    1. Philip — As a native south suburbanite I can never find my way around the Medford – Somerville – Arlington area to save my soul. Even though my cousin has lived there for forty years. Please describe the Medford extension of the Green Line. Is this on a surface street? If so which one?

        1. Thanks for info, Mike. Very appreciated. This will be a new way for me to get lost of the way to my cousins’ house, instead of from the Red Line — but the Red Line has been handy as I also have had family in Quincy on the south side where I belong and where I understand the local dialect.

          Notes: (1) First time MBTA, and one of few in America, where light rail runs on a commuter rail r/w. Of course either there has to be no freight, or else freight has to be time-segregated.

          (2) Lots of factors into converting Green Line for wheelchair access. (As in photo.)

  3. Many commuters using commuter rail into North Station transfer to the Orange and Green Line to get to jobs in downtown and the Back Bay. This will make the commute a lot longer for many.

  4. Bad timing when they wait until all the college kids come back to town and public schools are opening.

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