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MBTA adds shuttles, flyers in multiple languages in Chinatown before Orange Line shutdown

Faced by public backlash, MBTA adds shuttles, foreign language flyers
Faced by public backlash, MBTA adds shuttles, foreign language flyers 04:16

BOSTON - In an MBTA reversal, there will be a shuttle bus stop in Chinatown during the Orange Line shutdown, and the Silver Line will also be making an extra stop. 

People who live and work in Chinatown expressed concerns that they would be left stranded by the original MBTA plan. 

The MBTA has also added foreign language flyers explaining the shutdown. The lack of multilingual communication led to a packed cafeteria in Chinatown on Wednesday night. 

Residents who speak Mandarin on Cantonese finally learned – through translators – of the Orange Line shutdown. 

"This is going to be rough for everyone, not just Orange Line riders, but everyone looking to use public transit or get around," Mayor Michelle Wu said.

The Chinatown stop was on the list of just four stops not scheduled to have shuttle buses during the monthlong shutdown.  

After public pressure, the MBTA has added an extra Silver Line stop at Surface Artery and Kneeland streets to help with demand and says it's working on also adding an Orange Line replacement shuttle bus stop in Chinatown but is still working out the details. 

However, many said they wanted details two days before the shutdown. 

"I am not satisfied with this last-minute stuff, and I'm just about fed up with it. I am tired of the politicians that know that Chinatown has an issue, and we always have to scream and holler or it has to be a lawsuit or it has to be a major incident before something is done," said Cecilia Cordova, Chinatown resident.

Over the next day-and-a-half, city staffers will ramp up communication to access parts of the city where English is not the predominant language 

 "A lot of our seniors don't have access to the Internet unfortunately," said "A lot of it will be doing door knocking, providing some brochures to them individually one on one in Chinese writing," Boston City Councilman Ed Flynn.

An MBTA spokesperson said that plans for where the shuttle buses will come in Chinatown, and during what hours, will be released Thursday. 

However, if you're planning on cycling during the shutdown, the state is planning closures on the bike path that runs parallel to the Orange Line. 

Cyclists and local leaders had swift backlash for the state Department of Recreation just minutes after it announced "moving closures" on the Southwest Corridor Bike Path, which runs from Back Bay Station to Forest Hills. 

The shutdown was scheduled to start Friday – the same day as the Orange Line shutdown – and last two weeks. However, DCR said it's changed the plan and will now start repairs on Thursday and finish up on Saturday, so there's only two days overlap. 

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