City, News

Four Green Line stations on Comm Ave. to become two

Four T stops in Boston University’s West Campus will soon become two, as construction begins this winter for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s plan to consolidate part of the Green Line.

As part of its Green Line Transformation project, the MBTA plans to combine the Babcock Street and Pleasant Street stops, as well as the St. Paul Street and BU West stops.

A Green Line train passes by on Commonwealth Ave. The MBTA will consolidate four T stops along Comm. Ave. into two with construction beginning this winter. RYAN GREGORY/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The GLT Project is an MBTA initiative to improve all branches of the Green Line, including the Boston College line that runs down Commonwealth Avenue. The purpose of the renovations is to generate faster trips for Green Line passengers, as well as to improve accessibility and customer service, according to the MBTA website.

While the GLT project has been approved since July 2018, the construction contract for the work was awarded this winter and construction will begin this year. 

Lisa Battiston, deputy press secretary of the MBTA, wrote in an email the benefits of this consolidation project include improving the performance of the Boston College line, also known as the B line.

“The B Branch Consolidation Project will provide two new accessible stations,” Battiston wrote, “and will increase on-time performance for the B Branch.”

Battiston said the solar-powered E Ink information signs, which are currently being tested at several locations on the B Line, will expand to other stations where access to electricity is limited or unavailable.

“The E Ink signs are being tested in various locations as a pilot program,” Battison said. “Once the data from the pilot program is analyzed, the signs will be installed more broadly.”

Other reforms are also underway to renovate the Green Line. The extension of the Line from Lechmere station — currently at the end of the line — into Cambridge began in 2017. The MBTA is planning to finish this construction by 2021.

The Green Line will also be receiving new types of trolleys in coming years.

Until the extension is completed, the new Type 9 cars from company CAF will be operating exclusively on the D branch before they are introduced to other branches, according to Battiston. Type 10 Supercars will then be introduced in 2024, which Battiston says will double the capacity of the Green Line.

Mary Johnson, 23, of Kenmore said she thinks the B Branch consolidations are “reasonable,” though she personally avoids using it for the most part.

“It’s slow. I try not to use it if I don’t really, really have to,” Johnson said. “The only time I take the Green Line is going around BU and Allston, that area.”

Alba Martini, 35, of Beacon Hill said rail and subway systems in other major cities are more punctual and efficient than the T in Boston.

“It’s given that the Green Line is one of the oldest in the city,” Martini said. “But Boston is not one of the oldest cities in the world. So I definitely think there needs to be an improvement on that.”

Hannah Scott, 21, of Fenway said she thinks the MBTA should step up its communication with the public about changes to typical transportation procedures when construction occurs.

“There’s been a couple times where I’ve been almost trapped because I didn’t realize that they were doing construction or they [are] offering shuttles or weren’t updating times of when trains will arrive,” Scott said. “So recently it’s just been terrible and I try to avoid them during weekends.”

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