South Boston Piers Transitway -- Phase I

Boston, MA

(November 1998)


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 will operate in the transitway and on limited surface routes in the eastern end of the Piers area. Phase I of the project, a one-mile tunnel connector between South Station and the World Trade Center, is now currently estimated to cost $513.4 million (in escalated dollars) accordingly to a recently developed recovery plan. The need for a recover y plan was caused by significant cost growth and delays in the project implementation schedule. Th revised cost reflects an increase of $100 million over the original project cost, which will be paid for with funds outside of the FFGA. South Station serves 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 alternatives analysis and selected a locally preferred alternative in February 1993. The final EIS was published in December 1993. The final design and construction activities are underway. In November 1994, the FTA signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the MBTA for $330.73 million in Section 5309 new starts funds. The agreement covers final design and construction of Phase I. FTA is reviewing a project recovery plan developed by the MBTA. The project is estimated to open for revenue service in December 2002.

Through FY 1999, Congress has appropriated $241.9 million in Section 5309 new starts funds for the South Boston Piers Transitway.


(Reported in $YOE)


Proposed Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)


Appropriations to Date

  Section 5309 New Starts

FFGA Amount


($ 241.9 million appropriated through FY 1999)
  Section 5307


  Bond Funds





(for Phase I)
NOTE: Totals may not add due to rounding.