The MBTA celebrated the grand re-opening of the Government Center Station Monday at 11:45 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking two years spent reconstructing the station into a fully accessible, safer, modern, more comfortable facility.
The ceremony featured remarks by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and others.
“The reopening of Government Center, done on-time and under budget, represents another step forward as the MBTA works to improve the core system for commuters and visitors alike,” said Governor Baker. “This project reconnects City Hall Plaza and a key area of Downtown Boston to those here for business and leisure, with an increased focus on greater accessibility for all travelers.”
The project, which combined improvements to the Green Line Station, Blue Line Station, and Cambridge Street/Government Center Plaza, brings Government Center Station into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) Agreement. Previously, access to and from the station was provided solely by stairways and escalators.
“The success of this project is a testament to the collaboration among all stakeholders, including state and local government and transit officials that went into making it a reality,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “The new Government Center offers enhanced accessibility for riders and is a positive step for customer service delivery at the MBTA.”
The station was closed in March 2014. During the two-year reconstruction, both Blue and Green Line trains passed through Government Center Station, but did not stop there. The T greatly appreciates the patience shown by our customers during that time.
“Crews have worked hard to keep our pledge to reopen the station in two years – a feat they were only able to accomplish by closing the entire station, rather than parts of it,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “We were able to work around any issues because we had the whole station available.”
The reconstruction features a new head house structure as the primary entrance, raised code compliant platforms to provide accessible boarding of the Green Line low-floor trains, the introduction of new redundant elevators from the street to the Green Line level as well as from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, new escalators, LED signage, a new and expanded fare collection area, upgraded back-up electrical power supply, improved interior finishes, mechanical systems, lighting, a public address system, and a new emergency exit structure on Cambridge Street.
The open, glass-covered design of the head house provides full views of the surrounding area and sites such as the Old North Church, and serves as a new landmark on City Hall Plaza, a marked departure from its old bunker-like head house. The design of the glass element was a major part of the coordination between the MBTA and the City of Boston, specifically the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
“This project provided an opportunity to not only address the key functional needs of the station, but also to add something special to City Hall Plaza,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the revamped station will play a major role in drawing visitors and business to the area.
“With our exciting plans to activate City Hall Plaza, the reopening of Government Center will further our efforts to make City Hall a destination, not only for matters of business, but also for pleasure and enjoyment for people of all ages. I commend Governor Baker and all of the workers who played a key role in reconstructing the station, and I look forward to the unveiling of these improvements,” said Mayor Walsh.
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