BOSTON (WHDH) – Twelve hours before the MBTA’s scheduled month-long shutdown of the Orange Line, officials will address the city at 9:00 a.m.
Preparation for the shutdown carried right onto the start date. MBTA workers could be seen painting over new bus lanes Friday morning; hoping to give the city’s reinforcement of replacement buses ample ability to navigate the city’s winding streets.
According to the MBTA, the month-long shutdown is to address key mechanical and safety upgrades to the train line. In order to mitigate some of the effects of the shutdown, officials have stated “every bus east of the Mississippi” has been flown in to serve commuters in the wake of the Orange Line’s pause in service.
Still, some Boston residents told 7NEWS they were skeptical of the city’s plan.
“This is going to be chaotic,” one woman told 7NEWS on Thursday afternoon. “I don’t what’s going to happen I just think they need a better plan.”
The city is assembling hubs- surrogate bus stations- to connect disrupted commuters. At Government Center, State Street will be closed between Congress and Washington Streets; while Dartmouth Street will be closed between St. James and Boylston Street near Copley Square. Additionally, the northbound lanes of Washington Street will be closed near the Forest Hill station.
The robust plan is in effort to keep travelers on public transportation and out of their cars, according to Boston’s Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge.
“One full orange line train, if you took all those people and put them in cars that would be a line of traffic four miles long. We do not have space on our roads for that,” said Franklin-Hodge. ‘
Officials have also recommended bicycle routes riders can take instead of driving into the city or riding one of the shuttle buses. The routes were designed to specifically avoid areas that will be frequently visited by Orange Line shuttle buses. The recommended northern inbound route will carry riders down the Revere Beach Parkway and the southern inbound route up the Santilli Highway.
Free 30-day Bluebike passes will also be available to the public.
MBTA officials also announced that they have added an additional shuttle stop in the Chinatown neighborhood through the Silver Line.
With less than a full day to go, some residents just wanted to get it over with.
“You have to stop and think about, things happen. We have to work together, and if we work together and we aren’t so angry, we’ll probably get through it. But if you get on the train and you’re already angry its going to be a problem,” said Tracee Carter.
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