Are you a regular driver of the MBTA’s Orange Line? If so, here’s a look at what your commute will look like during the month-long shutdown announced by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday.
Baker outlined a number of steps MBTA is taking to expedite major track and maintenance work during a 30-day shutdown beginning August 19. It’s the longest service diversion ever monitored by the T for an entire line, he said. Without the shutdown, the planned work would have taken five full years of weekend and evening diversions. The maintenance and safety work aims to eliminate Orange Line’s frequent slowdowns and create faster journeys and safer journeys.
“We know that any distraction, especially one like this, will be frustrating for drivers and we appreciate their patience while the T implements this short-term work that can translate into long-term benefits in a much shorter timeframe and get to the place that we’re all at need to get there a lot quicker,” Baker said.
“We know we can’t wait,” added Steve Poftak, MBTA’s general manager. “So this shutdown is about not waiting. It’s about making the necessary improvements and making them now.”
When Orange Line drivers return on September 19, Poftak said they will see thoroughly cleaned stations with a ride that’s “significantly better” than the one they left and a fleet made up mostly of new Orange Line -Cars consists.
“We know these distractions can be frustrating for our drivers and we thank them again for their patience,” he said.
Poftak said MBTA is working hard on commuter alternatives. They include:
During the closure, passengers can show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicker to the conductors to ride the Commuter Rail in Zones 1, 1A and 2. All Commuter Rail stops along the Orange Line are accessible.
Providence Line trains make additional stops in Forest Hills.
- On weekdays, 24 Providence Line trains stop in Forest Hills
- 10 Providence Line trains stop at Forest Hills on weekends
Haverhill Line trains make additional stops at Oak Grove. More details on this schedule will be released shortly.
For travel on the south side of the Orange Line and downtown, passengers can take the Needham Line, which stops at:
- forest mountains
- Back bay
- Südbahnhof (connecting to the Red Line)
For service on the north side of the Orange Line, passengers can take the Haverhill Line, which stops at:
- oak grove
- Malden Center
- north station
Orange Line train service will be replaced by free, accessible shuttle buses:
- Between Oak Grove and North Station
- Between Back Bay and Forest Hills stations, excluding Massachusetts Avenue station
Passengers are encouraged to use Green Line service in downtown Boston at Government Center, Park Street, Boylston, Arlington, and Copley stations.
To work from home
Another option, Poftak said Wednesday, is for people to work from home if possible while work on the Orange Line continues.