BOSTON (WHDH) - A shutdown of part of the MBTA’s Red Line will begin on Saturday, with shuttle buses temporarily replacing trains between JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations. Buses will also replace service on the Mattapan Trolley.

The shutdown is scheduled to continue for 16 days and will make way for a series of repairs on the Red Line.

T officials say the shutdown will make for better service. In the meantime, though, riders shared their outlook.

“Obviously, it’s a pain in the butt for everyone,” said commuter James Woods on Friday.

The T has said work on the Red Line will involve upgrading light fixtures, updating stations and replacing nearly 1.5 miles of track with the goal of cutting down on slow zones where wait times have tripled for some riders.

The Red Line is the lowest rated T line in speed and service, with trains last month running nearly 1.5 hours behind schedule, according to the watchdog group TransitMatters. In August, the group’s head said the Red Line could send the MBTA into a death spiral if repairs don’t fix its issues. 

Speaking with 7NEWS ahead of the shutdown, riders were frustrated. 

“It’s ridiculous,” said Rodney Shipley at the JFK/UMass station.

“I ride the Red Line every day coming back home from school,” said Fatoumata Balde, a student commuter. “It’s been really slow.”

Free shuttle buses will be running during the upcoming partial Red Line shutdown, making stops at all four Ashmont Branch stations and all seven Mattapan Trolley stops. 

The MBTA’s Fairmount Commuter Rail line will also be free during the closure.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu in a statement said her office is preparing to help inconvenienced commuters, saying city staff “are assisting to ensure Boston residents have the information they need” about the closure and alternative travel options including free Fairmount Commuter Rail trips and Bluebikes passes. 

“We’ll continue to support the MBTA as they work to accelerate long-deferred fixes for a safe and reliable commute,” Wu said.

Still, less than a day away from the shutdown, some riders remained unsure if the T can actually solve the problems plaguing the Red Line. 

“I don’t think they’ve done anything right in the past, like, 10 years,” Woods said. 

“That’s going to help improve a lot of people’s lives,” Balde said of the prospect of repairs.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox