BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A surprise press conference from transit officials on Friday detailed that the Green Line Extension Medford Branch will not open until the fall, and coupled with incoming service diversions to the existing Green Line and Orange Line, residents north of Boston will have limited access to trains in the coming months.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority General Manager Steve Poftak said during the conference that the GLX Medford Branch opening has been pushed back to late November 2022, months apart from its original expected start date in the summer. Poftak says the delay comes as the Medford line needs more work and power system re-testing, in addition to the multiple service interruptions the T has faced as a whole.
In terms of downtown service, the Green Line Union Branch will be supplemented with bus service from Monday, August 22, to Sunday, September 18 between Government Center and Union Square stations. Poftak says the diversion will allow for private demolition on the Government Center Garage to continue and for staff to comply with the Federal Transportation Administration's orders to reinforce training requirements.
Officials say that during the temporary diversion, Green Line riders traveling inbound and outbound between Government Center and Union Square will board for free on shuttle buses, though it was noted that service will still bypass Haymarket Station.
Poftak said that buses for Green Line service will not take away from Orange Line shuttle service, which was previously announced to run between August 19 and September 19, a clear calendar overlap with the recently announced downtown diversion.
"I'm a regular commuter, I know there is a sense of frustration— I've heard and felt that folks want bold and decisive action. What we are doing is bold and decisive. We're going to do our best to mitigate the impacts, but we're going to come back with a much-improved Orange Line and existing service. I'm asking folks to be patient," Poftak said.
WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.