BOSTON (WHDH) - Shuttle buses will replace rail service on the Red Line’s Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line for two weeks in October so crews can “expedite critical track work,” according to the MBTA.

In an announcement on Thursday, the transportation authority said that for 16 days, between Oct. 14 and Oct. 29, the Ashmont Branch between JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations and the Mattapan Line between Ashmont and Mattapan Stations will experience “full-access closures” to allow for critical track work to be performed.

“During this closure, the MBTA will provide free, accessible shuttle bus service for riders on the Ashmont Branch and the Mattapan Line,” the MBTA said in a news release.

Over the course of the two week shutdown, crews are slated to perform work that includes the replacement of rails, ties, and ballasts, which officials say will improve reliability and reduce maintenance needs. The MBTA said that the work will allow 28 speed restrictions in the area to be “alleviated,” while also improving travel times.

According to the MBTA, the track between the JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations as well as the Mattapan Line is “some of the oldest in the system and is in need of replacement.”

“Safety of the MBTA system is paramount, and this 16-day closure allows us to address many of the Red Line’s worst speed restrictions much faster than we’ve been able to accomplish during night and weekend work,” MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng stated in the release. “We understand service changes can be frustrating, and I want to thank the public for their patience while we perform this critical and targeted work between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line.”

Shuttle buses are scheduled to make stops at all Red Line line stations during the shutdown, with the MBTA noting that shuttles will operate every 5-6 minutes during weekday peak hours and 10-15 minutes during weekday and weekend off-peak hours.

“Riders are encouraged to allow extra travel time during this service change,” the MBTA said, while also encouraging riders to also use local bus routes and the Commuter Rail’s Fairmount Line when possible.

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