Transportation Boards Vote Not to Cancel Green Line Extension

The MBTA's blockbuster project will move forward, but it's going to be a bumpy road.

Photo By Olga Khvan

Photo By Olga Khvan

Boards for the MBTA and Department of Transportation voted not to cancel the Green Line extension at a meeting on Monday.

The project, which would extend the rail line into Somerville and Medford, is alive for the time being, but the future remains pretty murky for the beleaguered proposal.

According to, the boards voted to send an updated version of the project, including a scaled-back design and a $2.3 billion budget, to the Federal Transit Administration for review. The proposal also included forming a team of dozens to manage the project for the MBTA.

While proponents of the extension remain hopeful after Monday’s news, budgetary concerns could still derail things, even though the project has been heavily stripped down to cut costs.

There’s still a $300 million difference between the current budget and the initial proposal, which would partially be filled by $152 million in federal funds, as well as by the $75 million that is being kicked in by Somerville and Cambridge.

Officials still need to find a source to fill the $73 million budget gap, which isn’t allowed to come from the state due to the conditions set by the transportation boards last year. The figure could be even larger if significant recommendations are made during the federal review.

Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack told reporters after the meeting that the members of the boards want to make the extension work, but they need to figure out how to fill the budget gap.

“On paper, we have a plan for preparing and delivering it, but there are still some money problems that need to be resolved before the boards are ready to sign on the dotted lines,” Pollack said, according to “The boards’ clear preference is to proceed with the project if there’s a way to pay for it.”