MBTA’s unprecedented 30-day Orange Line shutdown begins

Doors are closed, doors are locked, and passengers are directed to shuttles instead of train platforms. The 30-day shutdown of the Orange Line by the MBTA began Friday evening. Officials say they can cut work that would normally have taken five years into the one-month work period. Planned projects include repairing tracks to eliminate delays, upgrading signals, replacing infrastructure, and repairing or upgrading various stations. The 11-mile Orange Line, from Oak Grove to Forest Hills stations, closed from 9 p.m. Friday. It is expected to remain closed until 5 a.m. on September 19. MBTA officials said crews were “positioned and ready” to begin operating as soon as third rail could be de-energized along the line. The onset of an unprecedented shutdown ushered in a complicated dance of diversions and alternatives that Boston officials have called a “transportation emergency.” Line and the MBTA safer, more reliable and faster, and we look forward to bringing this enhanced service to the end of the wave,” said MBTA Managing Director Steve Poftak. Some streets are closed or effectively cut in half to create dedicated lanes for shuttles. Curbside loading areas have also been designated for buses. State Street between Congress and Washington Streets, Dartmouth Street between St. James and Boylston Streets, and one side of Washington Street between Arborway and Williams Street will be closed to traffic to make a path for buses Officials said the creation of A route for buses will have a ripple effect throughout the region, according to projections made by engineers who model traffic for MassDOT. Motorists have been warned to expect a sharp increase in traffic, particularly on roads along shuttle routes. Meanwhile, commuters worry about how their trips to and from work will be affected. “Thirty days is a bit too long,” said Michael Lee. , of Malden. “We’ll see what happens when I take my alternate route. If it takes me longer than two hours, I may require a work from home situation. Passengers can also use the commuter train free of charge in zones 1, 1A and 2 by presenting a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. “We’ve been using partial bypasses on the lines for several years,” Poftak said. “We will continue to use this as a tool. This one is just more dramatic. As an alternative, Boston is offering a free 30-day pass to ride Bluebikes during the shutdown. Starting Monday, parts of the MBTA Green Line will also be closed for 28 days. The shutdown of the Green Line between Union Square and Government Center stations will allow the MBTA to carry out the final phase construction work needed to open the Medford branch, which is now expected to open in late November. Shuttles will also be offered to replace Green Line Service. The City of Boston and MBTA have announced the following number for a new MBTA Call Center: 617-222-3200. Officials said the “impetus” for closing the Orange Line was a safety review by the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA has been digging into the MBTA file since May after a man was dragged to death at the redline in April. A final report from the federal agency is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Doors are closed, doors are locked, and passengers are directed to shuttles instead of train platforms. The 30-day shutdown of the Orange Line by the MBTA began Friday evening.

Officials say they can cut work that would normally have taken five years into the one-month work period. Planned projects include track repairs to eliminate slowdowns, upgrade signals, replace infrastructure, and repair or upgrade individual stations.

The 11 miles of the Orange Line, from Oak Grove to Forest Hills stations, closed from Friday at 9 p.m. It is expected to remain closed until 5 a.m. on September 19.

MBTA officials said crews are “set up and ready” to begin work as soon as third rail can be de-energized along the line.

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The onset of an unprecedented shutdown ushered in a complicated dance of diversions and alternatives that Boston officials have called a “transportation emergency.”

“We know this is a huge disruption, but it allows us to take a bold and decisive step to make the Orange Line and the MBTA safer, more reliable and faster, and we look forward to bringing this improved service at the end of the increase,” said MBTA Managing Director Steve Poftak.

Some streets are closed or cut in two to create lanes reserved for shuttles. Curbside loading areas have also been designated for buses.

State Street between Congress and Washington Streets, Dartmouth Street between St. James and Boylston Streets and one side of Washington Street between Arborway and Williams Street will be closed to traffic to make way for buses.

Officials said creating a path for buses will have a ripple effect across the region, according to projections made by engineers who model traffic for MassDOT. Motorists have been warned to expect a sharp increase in traffic, particularly on roads along shuttle routes.

Meanwhile, commuters worry about how their trips to and from work will be affected.

“Thirty days is a bit too long,” said Michael Lee, of Malden. “We’ll see what happens when I take my alternate route. If it is going to take me more than two hours, maybe I will require a work from home situation.

MBTA officials said they are increasing the frequency of commuter trains to accommodate anticipated changes in travel patterns. Passengers can also use the commuter train free of charge in zones 1, 1A and 2 by presenting a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket.

“We’ve been using partial bypasses on the lines for several years,” Poftak said. “We will continue to use this as a tool. This one is just more dramatic.

As an alternative, Boston is offering a free 30-day pass to ride Bluebikes during the shutdown.

Starting Monday, parts of the MBTA Green Line will also be closed for 28 days. The shutdown of the Green Line between Union Square and Government Center stations will allow the MBTA to carry out the final phase construction work needed to open the Medford branch, which is now expected to open in late November.

Shuttles will also be offered to replace the Green Line service.

The City of Boston and the MBTA have announced the following number for a new MBTA call center: 617-222-3200.

Officials said the “impetus” for closing the Orange Line was a safety review by the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA has been digging into the MBTA file since May after a man was dragged to death on the red line in April. A final report from the federal agency is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

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