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MBTA Proposes Service To Tufts

The planned extensions to the Green Line will not be completed until 2014

Tufts University students may feel a little less isolated from Boston thanks to a plan to extend the city’s subway system closer to the Medford school’s campus, but officials refuse to say exactly where a new T stop is planned.

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authoriy’s (MBTA) Green Line Extension Project will add train service to the Somerville and Medford communities by 2014.

“The final location of the stop will be decided through the data from the planning process and discussions and consultations with citizens from Medford,” said Kate Flitcher, the MBTA supervisor of the project. She said she hopes that residents from the surrounding communities will attend the next set of meetings scheduled for some time in early summer. These meetings are just one part of an 18-month process to finalize the plans.

At this point, the project is about five months-old and has already proved controversial. Fitcher described the future location of the T stop as a “touchy subject.”

Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said he is enthusiastic about the project.

“We’re grateful that the Governor recently took a crucial step in honoring the state’s commitment by including full funding for the Green Line extension in his transportation bond bill,” Curtatone said in a statement.

For Tufts students, the thought of a T stop closer than a 10-minute walk away is appealing. “There is a bus that stops by now, but it’s usually delayed, so it takes a long time to get to Davis square and the T stop is really inaccessible,” said freshman Edward Chao.

The new stop would also mean more convenient access to downtown Boston.

“It would be a lot easier to have a stop closer to campus because we wouldn’t have to take the red line all the way to Park Street,” said Lauren N. Go, a sophomore.

In addition to improving convenience, Flitcher said, “The extension will offer significant air quality benefits, spur economic development, and increase property values.”

Harvard students, mostly unaware of the proposed changes, won’t reap much benefit from the extension.

“It’s going to take just as much time to get there because we would have to go to Park Street to switch to the Green Line,” said organic chemistry graduate student Stephan J. Zuend. “I will still go the same way, but it’s great for Tufts students who want to travel around more easily.”

Students like Chao are just happy that the project will put Tufts back on the map. “Tufts is a secluded environment and it’s a little frustrating that we’re kind of overlooked. The extension will definitely change that.”
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