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USDOT grants $100 million to MBTA for GLX light-rail project

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will issue $100 million in grant funding to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for its Green Line Extension (GLX) light-rail project, the department announced yesterday.

The grant represents the first installment of Capital Investment Grants funding for the GLX after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) signed a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) with the MBTA for the 4.7-mile line that will run from Cambridge to Medford, Massachusetts.

"Gov. Charlie Baker's commitment to responsibly manage taxpayer dollars in the building of this project was persuasive," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a press release. "The region can now look forward to an enhanced transportation network as the Green Line is extended to serve tens of thousands of area residents daily."

The FTA is providing the funds after MBTA redesigned the GLX project to contain costs without sacrificing the schedule, USDOT officials said. The GLX is projected to open in January 2022.

A strengthened MBTA project management team and governance structure — including the Fiscal Management Control Board created by Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature in 2015 — were critical factors in moving the FFGA grant forward, USDOT officials added.

Signed in 2015, the FFGA provides $996 million in federal funds toward the GLX project’s $2.3 billion total cost.

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