Union Square (MBTA station)
Planned station site in December 2011
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Electrified||Overhead lines (planned)|
Union Square is a planned rapid transit station on the MBTA Green Line "E" Branch in the Union Square district of southeastern Somerville, Massachusetts. Union Square will consist of one island platform, which will serve the "E" Branch's two tracks.
In September 2013, the state secured funding to move forward on the Green Line Extension to build three new stations by 2017, signing a 51-month $393 million contract. Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 for Union Square, as well as Washington Street and the relocated Lechmere.
Green Line Extension
In August 2012, the City of Somerville, MassDOT, and the MBTA reached a memorandum of agreement about the station. Through the Somerville Redevelopment Authority, the City will acquire $8 million worth of land for the station and grant the MBTA a permanent easement, while retaining the rights for transit-oriented development overhead. In return, the MBTA and MassDOT will pay for cleanup costs at the site, begin construction by the spring of 2014, and open the station no later than "late 2016-early 2017".
In October 2012, the Somerville Board of Aldermen approved the Union Square Redevelopment Plan and authorized an $8 million bond, including $6 million to purchase the land and $2 million for cleanup and station planning. In May 2013, the Board of Aldermen announced that the North Prospect block - a mostly industrial area bordered by the railroad tracks, Prospect Street, Somerville Avenue, and the rear of residential properties on Allen Street - had been acquired by the city via eminent domain for $4.5 million. The properties were to be vacated by August. The city also received a $1 million EPA grant to clean up one of the properties.
Union Square was formerly a commuter rail stop on the Fitchburg Railroad (now the Fitchburg Line). Service to the station ended in 1938. A set of steps which led to the station are still extant next to Webster Avenue.
Restoring commuter rail service to Union Square has been considered; the 2004 state Program for Mass Transportation estimated such a station would attract 390 daily riders. A Union Square commuter station was listed as a possibility in 2012 as an interim air quality mitigation measure in response to delays building the Green Line Extension However, such a station would not be popular with riders from the rest of the Fitchburg Line, which is already slow due to closely spaced stations. The station could also not have been completed by the 2015 deadline, and was not supported by MassDOT.
- Orchard, Chris (3 August 2012). "Agreement Says Union Square Green Line Station Operational by 2017". Somerville Patch. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Rosenberg, Steven A. (5 December 2013). "Somerville poised to grow along Green Line". Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- Orchard, Chris (12 October 2012). "Aldermen Authorize $8 Million Bond for Union Square Green Line Site". Somerville Patch. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- Gallant, Leah (7 June 2013). "Somerville board acquires land for Green Line Extension". Wicked Local Somerville. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- Central Transportation Planning Staff (January 2004). "Chapter 5C: Service Expansion" (PDF). 2004 Program for Mass Transportation. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Central Transportation Planning Staff (23 January 2012). "Green Line Extension SIP Mitigation Inventory" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Retrieved 5 December 2012.