What to Know About Orange, Green Line Shutdowns – NBC Boston

What to Know About Orange, Green Line Shutdowns – NBC Boston

It’s another setback for commuters this summer.

Two days after announcing that the Orange Line would be shut down for a month, the MBTA said Friday that all Green Line services north of Government Center will similarly be offline and will be replaced by shuttle buses for four weeks between August and September. .

Green Line service, including the newly opened Union Branch, will be unavailable in both directions between Government Center and Union Square stations Monday, Aug. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 18, the T. Commuters on the Green Line Extension said. will be diverted to shuttle buses, just like the Orange Line drivers whose metro line will be completely offline from the night of September 19-18. The buses that replace the trolley service that started only in March will not stop at all regular stations, the T.

The timing is difficult. The Green Line Extension project has only been open for a few months.

“I’ve lived in Union Square for over 15 years now according to the project that was five years away from completion, consistently for 25 years,” said Tim Hoover. “It’s finally opened and now it’s closing again. It’s incredibly frustrating.”

After fires, breakdowns and more, we asked MBTA riders how their experience is.

The closures in recent weeks also come as the T already operates most of its lines on a daily basis with a reduced service level on weekends due to the agency’s failure to properly staff a major metro dispatch center, one of many safety concerns. that have been spotted by the nearly unprecedented federal Transit Administration investigation into the T.

“Obviously we don’t like being in a position to withdraw service in this way,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Friday afternoon. “But in this case, it’s advancing some of our capital, reliability and safety projects. It also helps put us in a position to open the Medford Square Branch as well.”

The T said the closure of the Green Line is necessary “to facilitate the opening of the Medford Branch and to allow crews to complete the final phase of construction work” and “to allow work on the private Government Center Garage project possible.” The Medford facility of the Green Line Extension was scheduled to open at the end of this summer, but that has now been postponed to the end of November.

“Much of the work to be done during the diversion in service from August 22 to September 18 will be linked to the opening of the Medford Branch, including the progress of final phase construction elements on the GLX project and the East Cambridge Overpass,” the MBTA said in a press release. “The start date has also been impacted by the availability of safety and operational support crews that previously prioritized GLX but have now been reassigned to other critical MBTA construction work, including in response from the MBTA on the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection. guidelines.”

The diversion in the service is needed to allow work in the Government Center parking garage project, MBTA officials said.

Poftak told reporters Friday that the T was already planning a multi-week shutdown of the Union Branch around this time and that it “coincidentally overlapped” with the Orange Line shutdown.

“And then there’s a secondary factor, it’s necessary to close the Orange and Green Line at least at Haymarket to allow for the further demolition of the Government Center garage,” he said. “So these overlapped on the calendar in such a way that we thought that instead of multiple diversions, multiple closures, and multiple modes of service on this part of the Green Line, we wish it would be consistent and we would free our troops.” giving them access to the full workspace they need.”

While he said passenger numbers on the Union Branch have been “fairly good” since the expansion opened this spring, Poftak had no estimate of how many people will be affected by the decision to suspend the service.

An AT spokesperson later estimated that about 2,500 people board Union and Lechmere stations every weekday.

The T’s general manager insisted on Friday that while the Orange and Green Line closures will be disruptive, they are responding to calls from T drivers frustrated with the MBTA and poor service.

“I get that. I’m a regular commuter, I talk to people on the T. I know there’s a sense of frustration. And I’ve heard and felt that people wanted bold and decisive action and what we’re doing is bold and decisive ” said Poftak. He added: “I am in a position to ask people to be patient and allow us to make some of these bold and decisive decisions rather than literally working out some of these construction projects for years. being able to get them done and make sure they’re done efficiently, and what you’ll end up with is a better customer experience.”