UPDATE: 15 August 2022 – NEW MBTA FLYERS NOW AVAILABLE:
NOTE: For travel between Roslindale and Downtown, the best bet is almost certainly going to be the Commuter Rail from either Roslindale Village, Forest Hills, or Bellevue. Without coming completely out and saying it, the T is essentially going to allow for free boarding of the system based on flashing a Charlie Card or Charlie Ticket. They are now clear that they won’t be checking the value on these passes, so basically anything will work here.
PRIOR POST FOLLOWS
Among the many issues unfortunately plaguing our region’s transit system, the state of the Orange Line’s tracks and signals has been an ongoing concern for several years as slow zones have multiplied all along the line, increasing travel times significantly and contributing to the sense of an agency on a downward trajectory at exactly the wrong time. We simply can’t afford a transit system that doesn’t work.
Today, the MBTA admitted reality, made it official, and announced a 30-day shutdown of the entire Orange Line, from Forest Hills to Oak Grove, starting at 9 pm on Friday, 19 August 2022, and ending on Monday, 19 September 2022. The MBTA’s announcement can be found here. We’ve pulled the whole thing into this post to highlight key items in planning for Roslindale residents during this period and we encourage everyone to sign up for “Orange Line Transformation Updates” with the button in the post from the T:
- Commuter Rail Access/Fair Fares: Service is being added on other lines so that they will stop more frequently at both Forest Hills and Ruggles, but beyond that, the T providing that riders can also take the Commuter Rail from Roslindale Village or Bellevue for the same price as riding the subway/bus. Just show your Charlie Card or Charlie Ticket when boarding.
- Substitute Bus Service: There will be free substitute bus service in 2 parts – Forest Hills to Back Bay and North Station to Oak Grove. How well the City of Boston and the T coordinate bus transit priority for these shuttles will be a key part of what happens here and how much pain riders have to endure. We will watch closely for announcements here.
- Other Travel Alternatives: We’re also keenly interested in how well the T coordinates increasing service on key regular bus routes that could provide replacement service, such as the 39 from Forest Hills, and what the City does on bulking up Blue Bikes and safe cycling generally along the Southwest Corridor and on Washington Street from the square to Forest Hills.
FULL MBTA ANNOUNCEMENT:
As part of the Orange Line Transformation Program, we’re accelerating important reliability upgrades during a 30-day shutdown of the entire line starting at 9 PM on August 19. Regular Orange Line service will resume on Monday, September 19.
During this acceleration, crews will complete multiple projects more than five years faster than originally planned.
Why We’re Doing This Work
Upgrades to Orange Line tracks and signals will improve safety, increase reliability, and provide smoother trips for riders.Project Features:
- Replacing 6,300 feet of rail near Wellington station, plus other upgrades along the Orange Line
- Replacing two crossovers
- Installing new signaling systems at Oak Grove and Malden Center stations
- Repairing track along the Southwest Corridor
- Replacing rail ties between North and Wellington stations
- Safety: New tracks, ties, and ballast will reduce the risk of high-impact events such as derailments
- Reliability: Track and tie replacement will allow us to remove speed restrictions, resulting in faster travel times and fewer unplanned stops
Orange Line Service Alternatives
During this 30-day shutdown, a number of service alternatives will be available.
Crews will begin work at 9 PM on Friday, August 19. Regular service will resume on Monday, September 19.
The Commuter Rail may be the best option for many Orange Line riders. During this shutdown, riders can simply show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to conductors to ride the Commuter Rail in Zones 1A, 1 and 2. All Commuter Rail stops along the Orange Line are accessible.
- On weekdays, 24 Providence Line trains will stop at Forest Hills
- On weekends, 10 Providence Line trains will stop at Forest Hills
For service on the south side of the Orange Line and to Downtown, riders can take the Needham Line, which stops at:
For service on the north side of the Orange Line, riders can take the Haverhill Line, which stops at:
Orange Line train service will be replaced with free, accessible shuttle buses:
- Between Oak Grove and North Station
- Between Back Bay and Forest Hills stations (with the exception of Massachusetts Avenue station).
Check back here for additional shuttle bus service information.
The loudest work will occur when crews cut rails with a saw and tamp the track to the proper elevation.
For questions or comments related to this project, please email the Orange Line Transformation team at OLT@nullmbta.com.
To report construction issues or noise complaints, please call the OLT project hotline at 617-222-3393.
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