MBTA still finalizing plan for alternative transit during month-long shutdown

BOSTON — The MBTA will do practice runs for shuttles before the actual shut down of the Orange Line and parts of the Green Line. The final plan is still being sorted out.

Orange Line riders are bracing for what won’t be coming down the tracks.

“It’s going to be very disruptive obviously,” said a rider. 

Nick Hicks commutes to work from Roxbury to Jamaica Plain.

“There has been no respect for transit riders and no attempt at communicating the goals of this shutdown at all,” said Hicks.

Stacy Thompson runs the public transit advocacy group called LivableStreets Alliance. Her group has been in on the meetings with the MBTA and city officials as they try to finalize a plan for the month-long subway shutdown.

“They are literally trying to find all the cones and paint and support they need to get the shuttles moving. That is the top priority,” said Hicks.

The MBTA has signed a deal with Yankee Transit to help with shuttles, but in the most congested areas of the city like Tufts Medical Center and China Town, the shuttles would only go as far as a nearby Green Line station.

“Folks will be able to transfer to the Green Line downtown, and that will take you sort of to the other side of downtown Boston, where you could get onto another shuttle link,” said Thompson.

The MBTA plans to do practice runs when the routes are finalized, so you could start seeing more buses on the roads next week before the Aug. 19 shutdown.

“Whether you drive, whether you take the T, whether you bike – we are all in this together for the next month,” said Thompson.

Hicks, who has been a longtime Orange Line rider, says he is going to rely on his bicycle.

“It’s really the only affordable, consistent way to get to where you need to go,” said Hicks.

The MBTA has not released a time frame for their final plan.  The Boston Mayor’s office here told us they expecting to have more to share in the coming days.