Union square

The Green Line Extension is coming to Union Square in Somerville…finally!

Almost a century of planning and effort came to fruition on Monday when, for the first time, Green Line trains left Lechmere Station and headed northwest towards Union Square in Somerville .

  • SOMERVILLE MA. – MARCH 21: Trolleys wait for passengers at Union Square Station on the grand opening day of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Somerville, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • SOMERVILLE MA.  - MARCH 21: A trolley awaits passengers at...

    SOMERVILLE MA. – MARCH 21: A trolley waits for passengers at Union Square Station on the grand opening day of the MBTA Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Somerville, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • SOMERVILLE MA.  - MARCH 21: A trolley awaits passengers at...

    SOMERVILLE MA. – MARCH 21: A trolley waits for passengers at Union Square Station on the grand opening day of the MBTA Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Somerville, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • SOMERVILLE MA.  - MARCH 21: A man enters the Union...

    SOMERVILLE MA. – MARCH 21: A man walks into Union Square station on the grand opening day of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Somerville, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDEGE MA.  - MARCH 21: People come and go to...

    CAMBRIDEGE MA. – MARCH 21: People come and go at the new Lechmere Station during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDEGE MA.  - MARCH 21: A Green Line trolley breaks...

    CAMBRIDEGE MA. – MARCH 21: A Green Line trolley breaks a ribbon at Lechmere Station during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Nuria, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez applauds as Governor Charlie Baker kisses former Congressman Michael Capuano during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge , MY. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker kisses former...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker embraces former Congressman Michael Capuano during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  – MARCH 21: MP Ayanna Pressley speaks with...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley speaks with Senator Ed Markey during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  – MARCH 21: MP Ayanna Pressley speaks with...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley speaks with Senator Elizabeth Warren during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker speaks with...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker speaks with MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker sits with...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Governor Charlie Baker sits with Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Workers who helped build the...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Workers who helped build the new Lechmere Station listen during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. The remains of the old station are visible in the background. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey chat with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu after leaving a Green Line streetcar at Lechmere Station during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey step off a Green Line trolley at Lechmere Station after driving it from Union Square during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey step off a Green Line trolley at Lechmere Station after driving it from Union Square during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gets off a Green Line trolley at Lechmere Station after riding it from Union Square during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21 March 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: People come and go to...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: People come and go at the new Lechmere Station during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • CAMBRIDGE MA.  - MARCH 21: A Green Line trolley breaks...

    CAMBRIDGE MA. – MARCH 21: A Green Line trolley breaks a ribbon at Lechmere Station during the grand opening of the MBTAÕs Green Line Extension on March 21, 2022 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo by Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The Green Line Extension Project, first suggested by MBTA, a precursor to the Boston Elevated Railway in 1922, began service early in the morning and passed the station regularly at noon.

As the trains rolled on, in view of the dilapidated remains of the old street-side Lechmere platform and beneath the elevated Green Line tracks, Governor Charlie Baker held a grand opening ceremony that had been repeatedly heralded but ultimately materialized. .

“It was a project that residents of Somerville neighborhoods deserved,” Baker said.

After pointing out that there were “87 people on the conference program today, just one more example that success has many friends and failure has none,” Baker pointed to the former Congressman Mike Capuano, a longtime project promoter, as “the person who actually said, when we had the inauguration several years ago, that this was the fourth they were attending.

Baker added: “And the only reason they thought this one was real was because the feds had provided $250 million for the project. That $250 (million) was a down payment on the billion dollars that he ripped off the federal government.

Capuano’s work was later matched by local and state officials and former Governor Deval Patrick signed a bond bill including $1.3 billion for the project in 2014, securing the funds needed to the estimated $2.3 billion cost of Green Line Extension.

Even with funds in place, the project faced several setbacks and delays, including planned cost overruns that necessitated revised plans for station amenities, including the replacement of planned elevators with ramps at the station. Union and East Somerville station.

Monday’s opening itself was delayed from October. The bulk of the project’s stations, six in total due to open along the line extending to Tufts University, with a seventh proposed to join Route 16 in West Somerville, have had their openings delayed from May at the end of the summer.

Yet despite all the delays, for U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, who succeeded Capuano in office, the opening of Union Station is a lifeline for a community that depends on public transit.

“Today is a celebration, an opportunity to look ahead,” she said. “Just consider all the benefits this part of the project will bring. The economic growth we see in Somerville will only be enhanced by public transit that will connect people to jobs, food and health care. »

Pressley said she had relied on public transit as a young single mother and knew how important access to public transit was.

“Reliable public transit is not a good thing, it’s a must,” she said.