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Significant progress made during first weekend of Orange Line shut down; commuters look for alternative transportation

Commuters brace for Monday morning commute on Orange Line shuttle buses
Commuters brace for Monday morning commute on Orange Line shuttle buses 02:05

BOSTON -- Boston-area commuters will be put to the test on Monday morning. It will be the first workday commute of the 30-day MBTA Orange Line shutdown and part of the Green Line will be closed as well. 

Shuttle buses from all over the East Coast spent the weekend moving along the Orange Line.  

North of Boston, the mayor of Medford is asking commuters to be careful. 

"Just please be safe out there. We know people might take to bicycles and I'm hearing some people are purchasing scooters to get around and that just makes me nervous so I just ask people to please be as safe as you can and please try not to get frustrated," Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said

Medford has set up an emergency control center with extra police and transportation officials on hand.

"There's going to be long commute times, whether you're in a car, or you're trying to take the T," said Lungo-Koehn. "It used to take 20 minutes to get from Oak Grove to State Street. Now it's going to take over an hour."

The MBTA has recommended commuters also use the Commuter Rail or bike as an alternative to shuttle buses. The city of Boston is offering free 30-day Bluebike passes. 

On Sunday, a group of cyclists in Melrose hosted a practice ride. 

"My plan tomorrow is to drop off my son at daycare as usual, and ride into the city about seven miles door-to-door, and I expect to see some more bikers, but also a lot more car traffic," said Jeremy Garczynski, a cyclist from Melrose. 

Transportation officials said they have already accomplished significant work in just a couple of days since the shutdown began Friday night. On Sunday, crews were doing roof work at Sullivan Square and working on the tracks at the Community College and Wellington stations. 

"We're asking a lot of people to go through this period of time together but we think it will be worth it," said Transportation Secretary Jamey Kesler. 

He said since Friday, tracks at Wellington were demolished and excavation started; between Downtown Crossing and State Street, rail demolition was completed and half of its replacement is done; in Forest Hills, Stony Brook, Assembly, and Mass Ave, new lighting was installed. 

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