MBTA Releases Diversion Plan Ahead of Orange Line Closure Beginning August 19

The MBTA released the Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead as the T prepares for a 30-day full closure of the Orange Line from Oak Grove to Forest Hills stations beginning at 9 PM on Friday, August 19, and the 28-day closure of the Green Line from Union Square to Government Center stations beginning Monday, August 22.

The Rider’s Guide is a tool to provide riders with alternative travel options and information to inform travel decisions, including how the MBTA is ensuring accessibility during the shutdown, during this project.

The Orange Line closure will be used to address a maintenance backlog and planned construction investments, all of which are focused on safety improvements and returning the system to a state of good repair. Thirty days of 24-hour access will replace more than five years of Orange Line delays and weekend diversions.

The closure of the Green Line’s Union Square Branch will allow the T to perform final-phase construction work necessary to open the Medford Branch, which is now anticipated to open in late November 2022.

The MBTA encourages Orange Line riders to plan ahead and consider Commuter Rail service as an alternative to the Orange Line. Commuter Rail trains will make additional stops at Forest Hills, Ruggles, Back Bay, North Station, Malden Center, and Oak Grove stations to accommodate Orange Line passengers impacted by the bus diversion.  Riders can simply show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to conductors to ride the Commuter Rail in Zones 1A, 1, and 2 on all Commuter Rail lines at no charge. The Hyde Park – Forest Hills – Ruggles – Back Bay – South Station and Oak Grove – Malden Center – North Station Commuter Rail schedules are both available on mbta.com.

During the Orange Line closure, the T will offer free shuttle buses between Oak Grove and Haymarket/Government Center and between Forest Hills and Back Bay/Copley.

During the Green Line shutdown, riders traveling between Government Center and Union Square will board free and accessible shuttle buses, which will make stops at Lechmere station and the Lechmere station bus loop.

The major revitalization and safety work to take place on the Orange Line during this 30-day shutdown will deliver a number of projects, including track replacement, upgraded signal systems, and more, over five years faster than originally planned. The MBTA will also accomplish required track maintenance associated with Federal Transit Association (FTA) directives as quickly as possible.

This shutdown will maximize the amount of work able to be accomplished and will progress a number of projects and maintenance along the entire Orange Line, which will improve service, safety, and reliability for riders, including:

–    The replacement of over 3,500 feet of 38-year-old Orange Line track and tie replacement work that will allow for the removal of speed restrictions, improving travel time for Orange Line riders.
–    The replacement of two crossovers that facilitate the movement of Orange Line trains, allowing for improved reliability and future capacity improvements;
–    Track repair, tie replacement, concrete work, and more along the Southwest Corridor of the Orange Line, which will improve reliability; and
–    The installation of upgraded signals and associated systems at Oak Grove and Malden stations, allowing for improved safety and reliability.

The Orange Line provides approximately 101,000 trips each day with ridership approximately 49% of what it was prior to the pandemic.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: August 15, 2022