BOSTON (WHDH) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), co-founder of the House’s Future of Transportation Caucus, urged the MBTA to make the train system fare-free for the duration of the Orange Line shutdown in a statement Thursday.

“The Baker Administration and the MBTA’s decision to shut down the entirety of the Orange Line for an entire month is devastating, especially for the Black, brown, disabled, low-income, and other marginalized communities who depend on the Orange Line to get to work, school, the grocery store, and access other critical services,” the politicians said in a joint statement.

“This disruptive decision is yet another consequence of the historic underinvestment and mismanagement of the T, and it is shameful for the first public transportation system in the country to be forced into decisions like this. Riders should not be forced to carry the burden.”

The two said that Congress has appropriated sufficient funds to ensure a fare-free service is possible while the Orange Line is out of commission.

“Public transit is a public good and transit justice is a racial, economic, disability, and climate justice issue. We’ll keep fighting for bold federal investments that affirm these fundamental truths, including expanding fare-free services beyond this self-inflicted crisis,” the statement reads in part.

The MBTA shut down the Orange Line to allow for long-overdue maintenance and repairs.

Starting August 19 and running through September 18, the 100,000 daily Orange Line riders will have the option to use the bus replacement service.

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