The Orange Line Shutdown: What You Need to Know

MassDOT is modifying the Orange Line corridor starting on Monday, August 15. MBTA will begin operating replacement bus shuttles starting on August 15. Roadway modifications will include reconfiguring travel lanes, curb work, and installation of designated bus lanes. There will also be changes to traffic signal timing.

Accessible vans will be available for disabled riders.

While the Orange Line Shutdown and bike safety are ongoing, accessible vans will be available for disabled riders to use while their trains are not running. The city works with the MBTA to ensure disabled riders don’t lose service. These vehicles will be ADA-compliant and will be free to use. They will connect disabled riders to Green Line buses and be a convenient alternative to public transportation.

MBTA provides 20 accessible vans equipped with a combination of lifts and ramps. The accessible vans will be located at every Orange Line station, including shuttle stops. Dedicated curb space will be provided near the accessible vans. Disabled riders can also use free RIDE rides within three-quarters of a mile of an Orange Line station. They can use their CharlieCard or TAP pass to take advantage of this service.

During the shutdown, the MBTA is scrambling to provide alternative transportation. The Orange Line is the second-busiest rapid transit line in the city and has carried over a hundred thousand people each weekday in the spring and summer. The shutdown, expected to last a month, will disrupt thousands of commuters and residents.

Transit Hubs will Ease Transfers.

Transit hubs are one of the most important aspects of a transit system. They can ease the transfer process from one mode to another and improve service for all users. Transit hubs will help commuters get around the city during the Orange Line shutdown. The busway in SODO will carry 30 to 50 buses per hour after the Link construction is completed.

The city of Boston has also announced two new transit hubs to handle the influx of people traveling by shuttle bus. These will be near Government Center and Copley Square stations. These two stations are expected to have the highest volume of shuttle bus passengers. Boston is also reserving significant curb space to facilitate the loading of shuttle buses.

Buses running between Sullivan and Haymarket could also end at Sullivan rather than Oak Grove. This would allow commuters from Oak Grove to transfer to the Green Line without waiting for a shuttle to run to their destination. Another idea would be establishing bus lanes between the two terminals during shutdowns. This way, commuters can ride the bus from either end of the shutdown and use a convenient one-seat ride to their final destination.

MBTA Will Send Refunds to Taxpayers

The MBTA announced Wednesday that the Orange Line would close for a 30-day shutdown, but many commuters still need to be aware of the closure. The shutdown is set to begin Friday, August 19, at 9 p.m. and will last through Tuesday, September 18. The service will resume on the morning of September 19. The Orange Line is the second-most-used subway line in Boston, providing more than a hundred thousand weekly trips.

This shutdown will be painful for the Orange Line in the short term. But the payoff for riders could be substantial. The MBTA has promised to replace the nearly 38-year-old train cars on the line, repair the tracks, ties, and concrete, and upgrade the signals at the Oak Grove and Malden stations. The T is also facing safety concerns because of the deteriorating conditions of the existing cars, some of which were put into service in 1979. The T has only received seventy-one percent of the 152 new cars on order.

The shutdown has many implications for the MBTA. For one, the MBTA has an underfunded system that has seen a recent spike in violent crime on the subway. And the MTA’s budget has a projected deficit of $2.5 billion by 2025. In short, a shutdown will create a severe problem for other modes of transportation.

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