The Gold Line

For close to 10 years, I and others on ArchBoston have been developing and refining a concept for a Green Line Reconfiguration. The notion originally started in our “Crazy Transit Pitches” thread, but eventually moved into a dedicated thread of its own. The discussion has evolved and meandered over the years, and the thread (now over 60 pages and counting) reflects that long history.

Here, I present the key concepts of the Green Line Reconfiguration, with the core pieces boiled down into a single vision: the Gold Line.


The “Gold Line” concept seeks to pithily capture the key projects needed to unlock the full potential of the MBTA’s light rail network:

  • Reroute the E Line via Back Bay to utilize the unused Tremont St Subway
  • Extend the E Line’s subway west down Huntington, at least to Brigham Circle
  • Construct a short subway to South Station and run trains through the Silver Line tunnel

In tandem, these projects will create a new, modern rapid transit line linking the Seaport, Downtown, Back Bay, and Longwood.

Furthermore, the Gold Line can be extended 8 miles all the way to Route 128 by connecting the D and E Lines at Brookline Village (where the two are only 1,000 feet apart). This will then enable a full rapid transit extension to Needham.

Additional details on the key projects of the Gold Line are available here.


Today’s Green Line is cobbled together from three or four different original systems. Though not always obvious, this is the source of many of the Green Line’s current challenges; these pieces were not designed to work together, and in fact were originally designed for very disparate purposes.

The Gold Line takes those components piece and separates them out so that each piece can perform to its full potential. In particular, the Gold Line takes some of the Green Line’s most modern (and underutilized) features, and connects them together to create a modern subway line.

With the strong foundation of the Gold Line, it then becomes possible to gradually but ambitiously expand our subway system further, radiating out further into Greater Boston, adding crosstown connections to better serve our many employment centers, and strengthening the core to enable growth for the century to come.