SOMERVILLE (CBS) – The first phase of MBTA's Green Line Extension is now open for riders.
Union Square station in Somerville and a brand new Lechmere station in Cambridge both opened early Monday morning.
They're two of seven new stations in the $2.3 billion project that began back in 2018. It will add more than four-and-a-half miles of track north of Boston that will extend all the way to College Avenue in Medford.
The other stations are expected to open later this year.
"This is going to be a wonderful benefit for the people here. It's going to give them direct access to the Green Line and you can already see around you lots of housing, lots of commercial development going up. It's really, it's going to be a catalytic event for this region," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told reporters Monday.
"Very interested in what ridership looks like. We've been running demonstration service for a number of weeks so we're very confident in how this runs."
"It's truly transformational, it takes tens of thousands off the streets every day," said former Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.
"We've been talking about it for what 10-plus years so I'm glad it's finally open," one rider said. "I think it looks really nice. I hope it's as smooth as the shuttle has been this last year."
"I think it's great to not need to sit in traffic on the bus when you go by the Museum of Science anymore because it really puts a delay in getting to work every morning," another rider said.
Before riders board at the new stations, they will have to validate their CharlieCards and CharlieTickets at a vending machine. The T posted a video online to explain how the new system will work. They said this step is temporary until they upgrade to all-door fare taps onboard trolleys.
for more features.