BOSTON (WWLP) – Two weeks ago, an orange line car caught on fire over the Mystic River, leaving passengers to escape through smashed out windows and onto the bridge. On Wednesday, Governor Baker held a press conference to announce the Orange line will now be shutting down in mid-August for 30 days.
The orange line carries more than 100,000 riders regularly. At an MBTA Board of Directors meeting Wednesday morning a $37 million contract was approved for shuttle buses to replace train service along the Orange, as well as part of the Green Line.
The shutdown will be between August 19th and September 18th. This is all in the wake of a Federal Transit Administration probe into safety issues on the MBTA.
The Governor made it clear that if they did not shut down the Orange line for 30 days, the project otherwise would have taken five years. The repairs are meant to increase speed of service and improve safety.
“This 30 day period will be the longest service diversion ever seen by the T for an entire line, so that they can get work done faster, so riders will see improved service, safety, and reliability on a much faster timeline,” said Baker.
The legislature recently sent the Governor a bill to borrow and spend more than $11 billion to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure on Sunday, $400 million of which is meant for the MBTA. Also in the bill, provisions to make the T more transparent about its safety issues.
If you do plan to visit Boston during the shutdown, MBTA officials suggest taking the commuter rail or the available shuttle buses.