Boston, Massachusetts/South Boston Piers Transitway -- Phase I

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South Boston Piers Transitway -- Phase I

Boston, Massachusetts

(November 1999)

(click here for map)


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is developing an underground transitway connecting the MBTAís existing transit system with the South Boston Piers area. The Piers area, which is connected to Bostonís central business district by three local bridges, is undergoing significant development. Dual mode trackless trolleys are projected to operate in the transitway and on limited surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area. Phase I of the project, a 1.0 mile tunnel connector between South Station and the World Trade Center, is now currently estimated to cost $601 million (in escalated dollars) accordingly to a recently submitted recovery plan. The need for a recovery plan was caused by significant cost growth and delays in the project implementation schedule. The revised cost reflects an increase of $187.59 million over the original project cost, which will be paid for with non-Section 5309 new starts funds. South Station is a transportation key hub in the downtown area, serving the MBTA Red Line and local bus, commuter rail, intercity bus, and Amtrak. Daily ridership for the Transitway in 2010 is estimated to range from 22,000 trips in the lower-growth scenario to 34,100 trips in the high-growth scenario. Phase II would extend the Transitway to the Chinatown Station on the Orange Line and the Boylston Station on the Green Line.


The MBTA completed the alternatives analysis process and selected a locally preferred alternative in February 1993. The final EIS was published in December 1993. The project is under construction. In November 1994, the FTA signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the MBTA with a commitment of $330.73 million in Section 5309 new starts funds. The agreement covers final design and construction of Phase I. To address cost growth and project schedule delays, FTA required the submission of a project recovery plan by the MBTA. MBTA has prepared and submitted a recovery plan, which is currently under review by FTA. The project is now estimated to open for revenue service in December 2002.

Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $294.76 million in Section 5309 new starts funds for the South Boston Piers Transitway.

Reported in $YOE
Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Appropriations to Date
Federal: Section 5309 New Starts FFGA Amount $330.73 $294.76 million appropriated through FY 2000
State: Bond Funds $120.20 N/A
Total: $601.00 for Phase I

South Boston Piers Transitway Phase 1 Map. The project is a 1.0 mile underground tunnel connector that will cross over the Fort Point Channel waterway and will introduce the proposed Fan Pier Station in-between South Station and the World Trade Center.