Five Things That Will Probably Happen Before the Green Line Extension Finally Opens

At this rate, even happy hours might make a comeback before the forever-delayed new station arrives.

MBTA Green Line / Photo by Olga Khvan

The word has just come through: The opening of the Green Line Extension has been pushed back, again. If you think you might have heard this news before, it’s probably because you remember it from June, when it got pushed back most recently, or at any other point in the approximately 355 years since the project was first proposed.

As a longtime resident of the area near the (allegedly) forthcoming Union Square Green Line station, I personally have started assuming that the construction area—one that looks like it could feasibly be a train station sometime soon—is actually some sort of ambitious modern art project. The official word, though, is that the current holdup is due to the overly complicated construction of a power substation. I do not exactly understand what that is, but it sounds like something very important that could activate or de-activate the whole system, so it probably shouldn’t be a rush-job. We don’t need any more incidents like that time a Red Line train ran into a “bungalow” that apparently kept the entire line running.

That said, while I and everyone else in the area devoutly hope this is the final delay and the station really will open in March(-ish), the whole project has started to take on the air of a mirage that recedes into the distance the closer you get to it. In fact, here are five hard-to-believe things I now think will happen in Boston before the Green Line Extension opens.

A gondola will transport people around the Seaport

The Seaport is a perennial public-transit desert; sure, residents can hop on the Silver Line or a couple of buses, but it is a notoriously car-jammed area. Years ago and at occasional whimsical moments since, the possibility has been floated of installing a gondola to transport Seaportians (Seaporters? Seaportestrians?) from their collection of retail establishments and hip restaurants into the rest of the city. Is this a practical idea? No. Would it be extremely cool? Yes. Granted, it would cost 14 quadrillion dollars, but it would also probably get finished before a new Green Line station is built on a pre-existing track.

Happy hour will come back

As every resident knows, Boston hates fun, and Massachusetts banned happy hours long ago. At the time, this was due in part to fears about drunk driving, but those have somewhat dissipated thanks to the easy accessibility of ride share travel. A ballot measure has been suggested to bring it back, but our continued hatred of fun make its prospects difficult at best. And yet, somehow, this will get probably passed, enacted, and have all its regulatory issues resolved before the Green Line station opens.

Everyone will finally agree on what the boundaries are for every Boston neighborhood

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s where Jamaica Plain ends and Roxbury begins. Right? Right? In fact, Bostonians—who are not at all known to have very strong opinions on the place where they live, no way—are already in such widespread agreement on neighborhood borderlines that we might finally clear up any lingering confusion over the distinctions between Southie, Seaport, and Fort Point before I can actually get on the Green Line in Union Square.

We’ll stop drinking iced coffee in the winter

Is there anything more New England-stubborn than insisting on drinking iced coffee in the depths of a frigid nor’easter? Not to worry—by the time this thing gets going, those of us who are depending on it will have had our otherwise indomitable Boston spirit broken and succumb to hot coffee to keep us warm as we trudge all the way to the shuttle buses of Lechmere.

A definitive ruling will come through on whether it’s a “three decker” or a “triple decker”

Personally, I prefer triple decker. Glad that’s settled.