BOSTON (WHDH) – The MBTA is hoping a newly-announced $37 million contract for shuttle bus service pays off for passengers during an upcoming, unprecedented shutdown of the Orange Line.
The new contract with with A Yankee Line, Inc. was approved by the agency’s Board of Directors Wednesday morning, before officials and Governor Charlie Baker formally announced details on the 30-day Orange Line shutdown that is expected to run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 19.
“We will be connecting Oak Grove to Downtown Boston as well as Forest Hills to Downtown Boston,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak during the announcement’s press conference.
The plan is to have up to 200 total shuttle buses, with 160 currently ready to roll. Where exactly they will stop, and how often, is still being worked out.
“We’re currently in consultation with our partners at the City of Boston on what’s the most efficient way to do it, so we’ll be coming back to you with more specific details on this,” Poftak told reporters.
“It’s gonna be a complicated exercise and we accept that, and that’s part of the reason why we’re talking to you about it now, which is two weeks before it actually happens” said Baker.
The MBTA often uses buses to shuttle passengers while repairs are being done to rail service branches and tracks.
“It’s unfortunate, because I know it’s a terrible inconvenience for commuters but, I would say it’s better to be inconvenienced for 30 days than dead,” said Keith Millhouse, a mass transit consultant.
Officials are also recommending 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.
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