Big test of Orange Line shutdown as thousands of Boston Public Schools students return to class

BOSTON — The replacement Orange Line shuttle bus system will be put to the test Thursday morning when tens of thousands of Boston Public Schools students return to class.

Boston and the MBTA say they are ready for the more than 4,000 students who may need to use the Orange Line replacement shuttles to get to class.

School officials say they have given out free MBTA passes to students who live within a mile of the Orange Line. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu says they have tried to tackle every potential issue even adding more school bus service.

Volunteers who traditionally reach out to struggling students before school begins are also helping families understand the Orange Line shutdown. Monitors will also be available at shuttle bus stops to assist students.

Students will not be penalized if they arrive late during the shutdown, according to school officials.

About 60 percent of planned track replacement and safety upgrades have been completed along the Orange Line. It closed in late August to allow for an array of much-needed renovations. The line will remain closed until Sept. 18.

The city has posted transportation resources for students here.

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