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New Green Line cars would boost capacity, speed up service: MBTA

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One big problem: There’s no money for them yet

Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

The board of the MBTA on May 7 approved a six-year, $35 million contract for a consultant to help explore the future of the Green Line.

If the agency gets its way, that future will include roomier cars and track changes designed to move more people faster. The MBTA would buy 165 trolleys over 10 years, each about 40 feet longer than current ones and with the capacity to hold twice as many passengers.

There is one big sticking point, though: There is currently no funding for such purchases, nor is there funding for the infrastructural changes necessary to run such longer trains on the current Green Line tracks.

The price tag is $3.5 billion at least, per the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. But the MBTA and others see the doubling of capacity on an already undoubtedly packed line as so worth it.

Meanwhile, 24 new cars for the Green Line extension through Somerville into Medford are on the way. They are more in the mold of current Green Line trolleys. Baby steps.