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30-day Orange Line shutdown to impact start of school year

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

BOSTON – As the dust settles after Wednesday's unprecedented announcement of the MBTA Orange Line closure, the scope of the effects of it are coming to light. 

As of now, the MBTA said it plans to close the entire Orange Line from August 19 to September 19. That leaves one of the area's main public transit arteries closed for the start of the new school year. 

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said her office is already working on plans to help ease the stress and confusion for those students that take the line to school. Boston Public School students 12 and older do not have access to yellow buses. Skipper pointed out that many of them rely on the MBTA. 

"It also impacts our staff," said Skipper. "Our staff live everywhere and in some areas of the city where schools are parking is difficult." 

Eric Berg, the executive vice-president of the Boston Teachers Union, said they are working alongside the school district to create solutions. 

"To have this dropped in our laps at the last minute in an unexpected way is really going to have a problematic effect on our students," said Berg. "The first few days and weeks of school is where we all build a community, build a classroom and set the tone and the climate for a successful learning year." 

The BTU said it wants to see more leniency for students and teachers that might be tardy due to the Orange Line closure. The union also stated the desire for free blue bikes and increased Commuter Rail service to provide more options. 

Roxbury Community College sits next to two Orange Line stops. The college said a major portion of their faculty, staff and students use the line to access campus and they are reaching out to them through social media. 

"We are really trying to now go directly to our students to learn more about how this will impact them," said interim RCC President Jackie Jenkins-Scott. 

The Boston Public School Superintendent said she will continue to update families weekly on any changes made as they approach the start of the school year. 

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