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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday announced a $996 million federal grant agreement to extend the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line light-rail service from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford, Mass.The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will contribute the dollars in the form of Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment grants through the program also known as "New Starts." State funding sources will cover the remainder of the project's $2.3 billion cost, according to a USDOT press release.The 4.7-mile light-rail line will extend existing MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. The project will serve some of the Boston region's most heavily populated areas not currently served by rail, USDOT officials said."This project will put time back in the lives of commuters along this corridor, but the real story is about the potential for change this smart investment will bring for residents," Foxx said.MBTA officials estimate the extended line will provide 37,900 trips daily when it opens in 2021. The project will include construction of six new stations, the purchase of 24 new light-rail vehicles, construction of a new vehicle maintenance facility and community bicycle/pedestrian path in Somerville, and relocation of some existing commuter-rail track.
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