As Green Line shutdown begins, MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng calls move "a game-changer"

BOSTON - Picardy Lamour rides the T every day to go to work. Like many riders, he hopes the MBTA's repairs and changes to the slow zones will make a big difference in his commute.

"It should be reliable and a way to get from point A to point B," Lamour said.

Starting Wednesday, the Green Line at North Station to Kenmore Station will be shut down for most of January as construction crews make repairs on both the rails and tunnel. It's all part of the MBTA's track improvement program. 

"This is going to be a game-changer because it's going to continue to tackle the years of disinvestment in our system. There's such amount of work we need to do - track, ties, power, even station work that we're looking to take care of," MBTA CEO and General Manager Phillip Eng said.

From January 3-12 and from January 16-28, parts of the Green Line's B, C, D and E branches will undergo repairs. Shuttle buses will be available on the B, C and D lines, but the MBTA is asking riders who use the E Branch to take the Route 39 Bus. 

"A lot of people that I go to school with commute to school and to work, and for them, it's completely a mess. They are having to figure out how to reroute their whole day," said Green Line rider Peyton Whitaker.

The MBTA says these repairs are necessary for riders to have a smoother, faster and more reliable trip. 

"I am satisfied with the timing, but the speeding has been terrible. It takes too long to get to places now," Lamour said. 

Stacy Thompson is the executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, a metro Boston transportation advocacy organization to help riders move around the region. "This really kicks off the 2024 repair-the-slow-down blitz for the T. So this is the first of what will be many short shutdowns," Thompson said. She reminds commuters that this is not only the oldest part of the MBTA but also includes part of T that is the oldest subway system in the country.

"This section of the MBTA is what I like to say is the most congested. It's where all of the branches of the Green Line come together, and they are all using the same tracks," Thompson said. The upgrades provide some hope for commuters who look forward to get to work on time. 

"That would mean I could get to work faster. I can get home, get others thing that I'm doing," Lamour said.