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MBTA encourages alternative travel options, including Commuter Rail, working from home, during shutdown

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  MBTA officials on Wednesday announced an unprecedented, 30-day shutdown of the Orange Line. The move will strongly impact over 100,000 rides daily, and MBTA officials encouraged several alternative travel options for Orange Line riders.

  • Enhanced Commuter Rail options: Orange Line riders who must commute downtown are strongly encouraged to use the Commuter Rail as an alternative as the MBTA is making a series of changes in service to accommodate the change in travel patterns: All Zone 1A, 1, and 2 fares can be paid simply by showing a CharlieCard or CharlieTickets on all Commuter Rail lines. Since many Orange Line riders drive to or transfer between buses and the Orange Line, the MBTA is making it easy to access the Commuter Rail before riders get to the Orange Line by allowing all riders to utilize Commuter Rail stations in Zones 1A, 1, and 2 by showing their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to a conductor. Haverhill Line Commuter Rail trains stop at Oak Grove, Malden Center and North Station. During these 30 days, riders can show their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to the conductor to access the Commuter Rail. According to the MBTA, “Haverhill Line trains will make additional stops at Oak Grove. Check back … for more information about this schedule coming soon.” Riders should review the latest Commuter Rail schedules.
  • Seek existing MBTA bus and subway alternatives. Riders can use other existing MBTA bus and subway services to complete their trips.
  • Consider working from home. During this 30-day shutdown, Orange Line riders who can work from home are strongly encouraged to do so. The MBTA encourages employers with hybrid work policies to allow employees to work from home as much as possible.
  • Alternative shuttle bus service will be provided. Earlier today the MBTA Board of Directors approved an approximately $37 million contract for shuttle bus service to Yankee Line, Inc. Alternative shuttle bus service will also be provided by MBTA buses. Shuttle bus service will operate in both directions, connecting Oak Grove Station to North Station and Back Bay Station and Forest Hills Station (except for Massachusetts Avenue Station. Riders should expect that this alternative shuttle bus service will take longer and be less reliable than regular Orange Line train service.

  The MBTA is currently discussing options with the City of Boston for how to best service the downtown area and will provide updated information soon. This service will be at no cost to riders and fully accessible.

  • Parking: The MBTA will continue to charge for parking at MBTA lots and facilities at Orange Line stations and will communicate lost parking impacts related to staged shuttle buses in advance if necessary.


  The MBTA is committed to providing as much information as possible before, during and after the major and accelerated work to take place on the Orange Line. Ongoing and transparent outreach to riders, communities and stakeholders will continue to take place through all available communication channels, including in-station signage, social media, mbta.com and more. During these 30 days, extra MBTA personnel and Transit Ambassadors will also be on hand to assist riders.

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