The Green Line is a light rail system run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the Boston, Massachusetts, metropolitan area. It is the oldest Boston subway line, and with tunnel sections dating from 1897, the oldest in America. It runs underground through downtown Boston, and on the surface on several radial boulevards and into inner suburbs. With an average daily weekday ridership of 169,600 in 2018, it is the third most heavily used light rail system in the country. The line was assigned the green color in 1967 during a systemwide rebranding because several branches pass through sections of the Emerald Necklace of Boston.
Commonwealth Avenue (colloquially referred to as Comm Ave by locals) is a major street in the cities of Boston and Newton, Massachusetts. It begins at the western edge of the Boston Public Garden, and continues west through the neighborhoods of the Back Bay, Kenmore Square, Allston, Brighton and Chestnut Hill. It continues as part of Route 30 through Newton until it crosses the Charles River at the border of the town of Weston.
Often compared to Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s Paris boulevards, Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay is a parkway divided at center by a wide grassy mall. This greenway, called Commonwealth Avenue Mall, is punctuated with statuary and memorials, and forms the narrowest “link” in the Emerald Necklace. It connects the Public Garden to the Fens.
Boston is the capital and most populous municipality of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in the New England region. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. Upon gaining U.S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation. Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston’s many firsts include the United States’ first public park (Boston Common, 1634), first public or state school (Boston Latin School, 1635) and first subway system (Tremont Street Subway, 1897).
The Boston area’s many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. Boston’s economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, biotechnology, information technology, and government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; businesses and institutions rank among the top in the country for environmental sustainability and investment. The city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.