25 Investigates: MBTA planning 30-day shutdown of Orange Line to conduct maintenance

BOSTON — The MBTA is expected to announce a month-long closure of the Orange Line, sources tell Boston 25 Investigates.

The closure will be implemented to conduct maintenance on the rail line, which serves more than 100,000 passengers daily.

“The hits keep coming,” one rider said. “That’s a long time.”

Gov. Charlie Baker will soon release a plan with alternatives for those riders, sources say.

This comes nearly a week after the MBTA postponed planned track and signal work on the Orange Line. Rail service was set to be diverted between Oak Grove and the Wellington stop between July 29 and Aug. 28.

“While the MBTA is pausing this work for now, the MBTA is exploring additional opportunities to accelerate work on the Orange Line, and will keep riders updated,” an MBTA spokesperson said July 27.

Gov. Baker will appear at a press conference Wednesday with Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak to “deliver an update regarding accelerated infrastructure upgrades to the MBTA to improve service, safety and reliability for riders.”

“We can’t keep putting band aids on situations and trying to just nibble around the edges,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said.

In May, the Federal Transit Administration issued a report highlighting four major safety concerns for the MBTA to address. That came a little over a month after a man was dragged to his death by a Red Line train leaving Broadway Station.

But the agency continues to be plagued by problems, including a runaway Red Line train in May and an Orange Line fire last month that sent hundreds of passengers scrambling through smashed windows to escape.

The FTA ordered a “safety standdown” of the MBTA last week in response to Red Line trains rolling away on their own. Workers were required to take part in briefings where they reviewed and discussed recent incidents involving runaway trains.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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