MA: Orange line shutdown: 37% of work now complete, MBTA officials told Baker at taping, report says

Work on the Orange Line is now more than a third complete, MBTA Chief Executive Steve Poftak told Gov. Charlie Baker during a taping Sunday, according to WCVB.

The orange line has been closed since Friday August 19 and will remain closed until September 19. Officials announced the 30-day closure only a few weeks ago, and since then it has been difficult to set up an alternative shuttle. bus routes, advertise alternative rail options, and rework typical routes that tens of thousands of commuters are used to.

Poftak told Baker the job was 37% complete on Sunday, WCVB reported.

Baker met with Poftak, Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler and other transportation officials at State Street Station at 2 p.m. Sunday for a progress report on the work, viewing 900 feet of new rail that has been installed between State stations. Street and Downtown Crossing, according to WCVB.

The closure comes with growing public scrutiny, a federal safety investigation and calls for more reliable transit service after a summer plagued by chaotic safety incidents.

“We did not take this decision lightly. We know this closure will be disruptive and I want to thank everyone for their patience,” Poftak said at a recent press conference. “At the end of this 30-day closure, we look forward to providing our passengers with a safer and more reliable travel experience.”

Poftak said Wednesday he does not expect the agency to restore normal service levels on the Red, Blue and Orange Lines in the fall after cuts were put in place earlier this summer due to traffic concerns. personal.

As worries about traffic and extended commutes swirled ahead of Monday, August 22, the first full weekday of the shutdown passed with few problems, at least from the perspective of state leaders and the city who monitored the progress of hundreds of shuttles passing through Boston. .

At the same time, fake MBTA messages such as “No Orange Line service, ask your limo driver to pick you up early”, “Use your helicopter” and “Stay in your beach house” have been popping up all over the city. city, parodying the distinctive style of real MBTA posters.

Many have expressed concern that the closure of the Orange Line will negatively affect the start of the school year for many students.

To accommodate student jumpers, Boston Public Schools announced that there would be no consequences for students who are late for school within reason. Additionally, a number of MBTA staff wearing red vests will be at stations to help guide students with information on where to go.

About 105,000 people rode the Orange Line each weekday, according to MBTA data last updated in June, traveling to and from the line’s 22 stations stretching from Jamaica Plain to Malden.

Public outcry swelled this summer after Red Line passenger died, multiple trains collided, train caught fire over Mystic River, series of trains ran off into worksites maintenance and mechanical problems were noted in all areas.

Although MBTA officials argue that much of the work the agency hopes to accomplish over the next month has already been on their radar, the shutdown is bumping up against a federal security inspection, a mass of incidents security and a series of state legislative oversight. hearings focused on expenditures and management decisions.

The Federal Transit Administration’s safety inspection in the MBTA, launched in April, has since focused on delayed track maintenance, staffing, runaway trains at maintenance facilities and certifications. This is only the second time the federal agency has launched an investigation into a public transit system.

U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss said on the WCVB’s “On the Record” program on Sunday that he would join fellow Massachusetts congressmen Stephen Lynch and Seth Moulton in a meeting with MBTA officials on Monday.

“Bay Staters deserve reliable and affordable public transit,” Auchincloss said during the program. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, with the US bailout, we provided significant federal funding in Massachusetts to make this happen. But the MBTA is not hitting the mark right now for my constituents.

Auchincloss said he was not ready to seek a federal takeover of the transit system, WCVB reported.

Related Content:

Normal MBTA service levels on the Red, Orange and Blue Lines are unlikely to return in the fall, General Manager Steve Poftak said during an update on the Orange Line shutdown.

‘No Orange Line service, use your helicopter’: Fake MBTA signs appear in Boston as train stops

The first full weekday of the MBTA Orange Line shutdown hits Boston with some of the planned work already complete

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Maria D. Ervin