Shuttles For Orange Line Shutdown Expected To Cause Problems For Drivers

Photo: WBZ NewsRadio / Karyn Regal

BOSTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Shuttle bus drivers and those who commute by car are preparing for "MBTArmageddon" with the Orange Line's month-long shutdown starting at 9 P.M. Friday. Drivers are practicing their new routes.

Amid the shutdown, the MBTA has put shuttle buses in place to help affected Orange Line travelers. While the shuttle lanes are meant to help T riders get around, it is anticipated to cause more issues for those on the road.

Read More: MBTA Releases Diversion Plans For Orange, Green Line Shutdown

The new shuttle bus lanes being painted down on Rutherford Avenue are narrowing the road to just one lane for car traffic, WBZ's Karyn Regal reports. Parking may be limited on streets where new shuttle bus stops are in place.

"It's less than perfect, I'll be very honest with you," Malden Representative Steven Ultrino told WBZ's Karyn Regal. "[The T's] saying they're going to learn from these, they better learn quickly. I wish they would just listen to us to tell them we need an express bus, we need more on the commuter rail, and we just need more."

Earlier this week, Governor Charlie Baker was asked about plans for express buses. He replied saying the Orange Line doesn't run express.

Representative Ultrino shared his thoughts on Governor Baker's comment saying, "Tell the Governor to ride the MBTA."

The MBTA allowed legislators to ride the Orange Line shuttle bus for a test run Friday afternoon.

Somerville State Representative Mike Connolly was in attendance on the test run and told Regal that many of the buses are from outside the region with a Boston local on board to help travelers with directions.

The MBTA announced on Thursday, just one day before the shutdown, that an additional outbound Silver Line 4 stop will be added to serve the Chinatown neighborhood. The Silver Line 4 bus stop will be located at the intersection of Surface Artery and Kneeland Street.

"The supplemental shuttle will provide an early morning and evening free, accessible shuttle bus service approximately every 30 minutes connecting Government Center, Tufts Medical Center, and Chinatown. The shuttle will leave Government Center approximately every 30 minutes at the top and bottom of the hour from the start of service at 5 A.M. until 7 A.M. and starting again at 8 P.M. from Government Center until the end of service at 1 A.M.," The MBTA said on their website regarding the alternative shuttle bus plan.

The Chinatown shuttle stop will be located just before the crosswalk on Washington Street at the corner of Essex. The Tufts Medical Center stop will also be located on Washington Street.

The MBTA will continue to update their Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead to help passengers plan their alternative routes.

WBZ Karyn Regal (Karynregal) has more:

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