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MBTA unveils ‘Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead’ as Orange Line shutdown looms

BOSTON — The MBTA has released its “diversion plan” ahead of the planned 30 day shutdown of the entire Orange Line that set to start next Friday.

The “Rrider’s Guide to Planning Ahead” lays out some of what riders may expect when the Orange Line grinds to halt, starting at 9:00 p.m. on August 19th. The MBTA guide also deals with the separate planned closure of the Green Line from Union Square to Government Center stations beginning Monday, August 22.

The T has begun posting detailed diversion information throughout each of its 20 Orange Line stations that detail alternative travel options for riders that need to use the transit system during the closure.

COMMUTER RAIL OPTION

The MBTA is encouraging Orange Line riders to consider Commuter Rail service as an alternative to the Orange Line.

Commuter Rail trains will make additional stops at Forest Hills, Ruggles, Back Bay, North Station, Malden Center, and Oak Grove stations to accommodate Orange Line passengers impacted by the bus diversion.  Riders can show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to conductors to ride the Commuter Rail in Zones 1A, 1, and 2 on all Commuter Rail lines at no charge.

The Hyde Park – Forest Hills – Ruggles – Back Bay – South Station and Oak Grove – Malden Center – North Station Commuter Rail schedules are both available on mbta.com.

ORANGE LINE SHUTTE BUSES

The T will offer free shuttle buses between Oak Grove and Haymarket/Government Center and between Forest Hills and Back Bay/Copley.

While all shuttle buses are fully ADA-accessible, accessible vans will also be available for any rider who prefers van service upon request.

MBTA personnel will be available at every station to assist riders in requesting this accessible van service.

Due to the free shuttle bus service, RIDE trips that begin and end within ¾ mile of the Orange Line will be free for RIDE users during the 30-day shutdown.

OTHER OPTIONS

Riders can use other MBTA bus and subway services to complete their trips, like the Route 39 bus, Silver Lines 4 and 5, the Green Line, and others. Riders are being encouraged to check out the MBTA’s Trip Planner.

WORK FROM HOME

“The MBTA is encourages those who can work from home to do so and for the public that needs to travel, to consider alternative travel options,” according to a statement from the MBTA.

The Orange Line closure will have regional impacts on the transportation network well beyond transit users.

Riders are also encouraged to monitor MBTA social media for the latest updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, to subscribe to T-Alerts at mbta.com, and visit more information at mbta.com/BBT2022.

IMPACTS ON ROADWAYS / TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Starting Monday, August 15, MassDOT says travelers using all modes of transportation along the Orange Line corridor will experience increased traffic congestion as a result of roadway modifications needed to support the MBTA’s bus shuttles.

“The modifications will occur at numerous points along the shuttle routes and range from reconfiguring travel and turning lanes, curb work, installation of designated bus lanes at various locations, and changes to traffic signal timing at multiple intersections,” according to the T.

“Following the full Orange Line shutdown, regional traffic congestion is expected to increase substantially,” says the T.

Travelers across are strongly encouraged to avoid driving through the area altogether, work from home if possible and “consider rescheduling trips through the area that are not absolutely necessary, or for necessary travel, expect significant traffic congestion and travel delays.”

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