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Metro Mayors issue statement on Orange Line shutdown

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  The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition has advocated for a fully funded, safe, reliable, frequent and accessible transportation system since the Coalition was founded in 2001. Unfortunately, the continual postponement of investments in this critical public service has led to reduced service, serious safety concerns, and now to the extended closure of the Orange Line for urgently needed repairs and upgrades. Cutting service hurts us all, but it especially hurts people in the communities most impacted by both the pandemic and recent service cuts.

  We urge the MBTA to provide frequent, reliable, and convenient shuttle service for Orange Line riders for the duration of these repairs to ensure that riders who rely on this service don’t lose access to their jobs, their schools, essential goods and services, and the region more broadly. In addition, we urge the MBTA to keep residents fully informed in their efforts to make the fullest possible use of the commuter rail in mitigating the impact of the loss of Orange Line service.

  Choosing to temporarily close the Orange Line for full scale repairs was not a decision that the MBTA made lightly. We hope that this closure will allow the time needed for the comprehensive repairs and upgrades necessary to restore safety, efficiency, and confidence in the Orange Line.

  The Orange Line is not the only component of the MBTA system that needs large scale investments to make a safer and more reliable system. We urge the Legislature and Governor Baker to make continued substantial investments from the state’s current budgetary surplus to allow the MBTA to address all significant safety concerns and to restore more frequent service systemwide.

  As a Coalition, we also want to express our gratitude and support for the MBTA workers who continue to work tirelessly to provide this critical service to our residents. The safety concerns that have arisen in recent months are not because of their lack of dedication but rather due to systemic underinvestment in this critical service.

  We are committed to working with the T to take steps to protect riders, make the MBTA system more accessible and affordable for all residents, and restore trust in public transit.

  The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition is a group of cities and towns in the urban core of Metro Boston whose leaders gather to exchange information and create solutions for common problems. The municipal officials in this group represent more than 1.4 million residents in the cities and towns of Arlington, Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop.

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