MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) – Orange Line riders might soon have a clearer picture of what exactly their options are when the rail service shuts down for 30 days, according to the MBTA.
MBTA leadership may have a full announcement as soon as Friday that would better detail the alternatives for commuters once the Orange Line closes for repairs.
At a committee meeting Thursday, Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville said plans, which include some 200 shuttle buses, have already been largely decided and announced, but more “granular details” on the services will soon be released.
With a month-long shutdown of the Orange Line looming, Boston residents and commuters told 7NEWS they are largely skeptical that the buses will be able to largely replace the trains.
“It’s going to be a nightmare,” one rider told 7NEWS. “A nightmare for everybody.”
“So many people depend on the T,” said Bryan Walker, a regular rider. “People need to get to work, people need to get home.”
According to the MBTA, the Orange Line shutdown is scheduled for August 19 through September 18 in order to undergo crucial maintenance. With rail service out of the picture for a month, the MBTA will populate the Orange Line route with buses for commuters and travelers.
However, local leaders like Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said they would like more clarity from the MBTA.
“What is the shuttle route? Where will the stops be? Which stops will not be included?” asked Lungo-Koehn.
The MBTA tweeted out photos of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and officials from her traffic department surveying an Orange Line bus route in order to scout for potential bottlenecks Thursday.
Officials are hoping that the combined forces of the MBTA, city transportation experts and a thousand traffic cones are enough to keep bus lanes clear and flowing.
Wu also spent time with members of several pro-biking groups Thursday, pedaling from Roslindale to Government Center in order to explore the possibility of biking into work.
“I’m going to be doing this a lot, not just through the shutdown, but beyond, hopefully,” Wu said.
Along with the shuttle buses, the MBTA has also recommended those who can to use Commuter Rail routes during the shutdown. Fares for Zone 1, Zone 1A or Zone 2 can be purchased with the use of a CharlieCard or MBTA pass, according to officials.
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