Commuter concerns mount as countdown to Orange Line shutdown looms

MEDFORD, Mass. — As the countdown to the Orange Line shutdown gets closer, riders who rely on the MBTA are worried there’s no definitive commuter plan in place.

“You know, I’m really nervous because I do not have a car and I take the Orange Line to work everyday, even on Saturdays,” said Felicia Haffar, who is an Orange Line commuter.

And she’s not alone. The unknown is nerve-wracking.

“Extra time to get up in the morning and extra time to get home. So, I’d just say one word is frustrating,” said Kaila Ing, who also uses the Orange Line to get to work.

As the T makes final plans on shuttle bus routes and schedules, even local mayors like Medford’s are frustrated they have no real answers.

“We are going to have such serious delays. I am extremely concerned and just trying to digest it all at this moment,” said Breanna Lungo-Koehn, who is the mayor of Medford.

Boston 25 spoke to Mayor Lungo-Koehn on Tuesday after the T’s announcement that the Green Line Extension is also shutting down, leaving many Medford residents caught in the middle.

“Between Orange line and Green Line it’ll be difficult for Medford residents…to go to a medical appointment, go to school, college, university, go to work,” said Mayor Lungo-Koehn.

Boston 25 reached out to the MBTA with riders commuter concerns. In a statement, a T spokesperson said,

“The MBTA and its municipal partners including the City of Boston are working together to finalize the best and most efficient transportation alternatives for all riders.”

But that answer is not good enough for riders who say they need that schedule asap so they can plan their commutes.

“How frequent are the shuttles going to be running. Is it going to be as frequent as a train or is it going to be like a bus. So, I feel like there are definitely lots of questions,” said Haffar.

With all this confusion the few details the T is getting out are getting lost. Riders we talked to did not know that all shuttle buses will be free and if you choose to use the commuter rail all you need to show is your Charlie Card or a Charlie Ticket to hop on board.

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