SOMERVILLE, MASS. (WHDH) - Orange Line riders are voicing their frustrations after officials announced a 30-day shutdown of the line’s rail service on Wednesday.
“Come on, you guys, get it together!” said Andrea Somerville, a regular T rider.
“Yeah, no, it’s ridiculous,” said rider Joe McDonough.
Governor Charlie Baker and MBTA officials formally announced the shutdown earlier in the day, with Baker emphasizing how the work is needed in order to perform long-overdue maintenance crews have been trying to squeeze in on nights and weekends.
“To put it in perspective, the 30 days of 24-hour access to rebuild and replace tracks across this line will replace what would have taken five-full years of weekend and evening diversions,” Baker said at the announcement’s press conference.
But while the end goal is performing important work and preventing future breakdowns, like last month’s third rail fire over the Mystic River, frustration remains over having to use shuttle buses or other means of transportation.
“Very inconvenient,” said commuter Danny Smith. “I work in Everett (and) I live in Boston. I guess they fix whatever it is that needs to be fixed, because there has been a lot of problems going on not only with the Orange Line, but the Red Line, too.”
Passengers who spoke with 7NEWS also had questions about the timing of the work, such as why the maintenance was not done during the pandemic, when few were using the T at all.
“I just don’t understand, like we had, like, over two years where there’s hardly anyone traveling and now, people are finally going back to work and the timing just seems to be really, really off,” McDonough said.
Most said switching to shuttle buses or Commuter Rail or even working from home for a month is only going to create another level of headaches for commuters.
“You’re saying that you’re giving me a better service, this is not a better service,” Somerville added. “You’re making it worse. Now we’re going to be shut down for 30 days.”
The shutdowns will start on Friday, August 19, and run through September 19.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)