The orange line is closed for 30 days

Local

“We recognize this will be disruptive.”

The Orange Line train which caught fire last month is seen at Wellington Station in Medford, where inspectors examined the damage. David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe, File

BOSTON (AP) — Transit officials are taking what they describe as the “unprecedented” step of shutting down one of Boston’s four major subway lines for 30 days to allow for track and repair work. signaling — the latest in a series of frustrating developments for Boston — area commuters who have suffered from fires, stalled trains and subway slowdowns.

The Orange Line shutdown will begin August 19 at 9 p.m. and service will resume at 5 a.m. on September 19. The announcement comes as the Federal Transit Administration has tightened oversight of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Governor Charlie Baker said on Wednesday the work would result in “long-term benefits over a much shorter period of time” for cyclists.

“These 30 days will also give the T the opportunity to get a lot of work done which will result in significantly improved service for riders, fewer delays and faster journeys on the Orange Line,” he said. . “At the end of those 30 days, we also expect the entire Orange Line to be a fleet of mostly new cars.”

The Orange Line connects passengers to popular tourist destinations in the city, including Faneuil Hall Market, Benjamin Franklin’s Birthplace, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Old State House and the site of the Boston Massacre.

MBTA chief executive Steve Poftak called the decision to close an entire subway line for a month “unprecedented” but said it would give workers 24/7 track access. 7, rather than trying to make repairs over night and weekend shutdowns.

He said improvements – including work to replace 3,500ft of 38-year-old Orange Line track that could take five years to finish using night and weekend hours – will be completed over the next few years. 30 days.

When complete, Poftak said the repairs will allow the MBTA to lift some current speed restrictions, allowing for faster journeys.

“We recognize this will be disruptive,” Poftak told an afternoon news conference, adding that passengers will experience safer and improved service when the Orange Line reopens.

Alternatives

During the shutdown, the T will provide shuttles between stations. Poftak also urged commuters to consider alternate bus, subway and commuter rail routes.

“We took the time to listen to the riders, empathize with their frustrations, and heard them loud and clear that they want bold action to improve the MBTA at the pace they deserve,” he said. declared.

Many of the moves to improve the transit system have been spurred by federal oversight, he said.

The decision comes just weeks after flames and smoke were spotted coming from an incoming Orange Line train as it crossed the Mystic River just north of Boston, prompting some passengers to flee through windows with a passenger jumping into the river.

There were approximately 100,000 daily trips on the Orange Line in 2021.

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