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MBTA seeks temporary bus lanes for Orange Line shutdown; drivers encouraged to take Commuter Rail

Orange Line shutdown to impact start of school year
Orange Line shutdown to impact start of school year 02:12

BOSTON - The impact of the upcoming MBTA shutdowns of the entire Orange Line and part of the Green Line will be seen on the roads.

The MBTA said Wednesday that shuttle bus operators "will soon begin to do test runs" in preparation for next week's shutdown. The agency said it has asked Boston and other cities "to install temporary bus lanes for us to run efficiently, & develop traffic mitigation plans."

Earlier this week, Boston Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge said the city is working with the MBTA and law enforcement on keeping "bus-only areas" clear, and they have more than 1,000 traffic cones ready to be deployed.

"In some cases, the best route can only happen if the City provides dedicated space for the shuttles to operate, and our planners are working on these road changes," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the T wants people who usually drive into the city to take the Commuter Rail instead.

"To avoid further congestion downtown, drivers should consider taking the Commuter Rail where available," the MBTA tweeted. "Lines like Framingham/Worcester Line can connect commuters to Back Bay & South Station without adding to roadway traffic."

Commuter Rail rides in areas serviced by the Orange Line will be free to Charlie Card holders during the shutdown.

The Orange Line will be shut down for upgrades and repairs from August 19 to September 19. 

"We know this diversion will temporarily inconvenience some of our riders & have a regional impact, & we take that all to heart," the T said. "We'll continue to plan every aspect of the rider experience, coordinate with communities & offer as many transit options as possible to keep MA moving."

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