MBTA Announces Upcoming Weekend Closures on Red, Green, Orange Lines

There will be a disruption to service almost every weekend from September through December.

The Red Line

Red Line photo via Wikimedia Commons

After a major Red Line derailment set the MBTA up for a less-than-stellar summer, Governor Charlie Baker announced that his administration was going to pursue T repairs more aggressively—and now, we have a clearer picture of how that’s going to affect riders. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be a headache.

As first reported in the Boston Globe Sunday evening, the MBTA plans to shut down key portions of the Red, Orange, and Green Lines on weekends this fall, in response to mounting public pressure after this year’s six derailments. Shuttle buses will replace trains at the affected stations.

The closures will reportedly allow the MBTA to replace several large stretches of track on each of those lines, a repair that the organization claims will help reduce the risk of service interruptions and lessen travel time. The above-ground stretches of the Green Line (and one spot on the Mattapan Line) will also see improvements to pedestrian and road intersections.

While they’re at it, it looks like there are also plans in place for some cosmetic upgrades at major stations like Downtown Crossing, Haymarket, State Street, Chinatown, and Park Street, in an attempt to improve customer experience. Confusing signage will be clarified—and consistently branded, to boot—and stations will also have stronger lighting and fresh coats of paint. Stairs, fare equipment, and station maps are on the list of “potential opportunities for additional station work.”

There are also plans in place to improve accessibility at several stations, including at Harvard, which will see a new enlarged elevator and fresh plaza paving.

“These shutdowns will allow us to quicken the pace of investments in the system more efficiently and effectively,” MBTA general manager Steve Poftak says in a statement. “We’ve heard loud and clear that we need to accelerate the pace of improvements.”

But of course, before we can reap the rewards of bright-and-shiny stations and quicker commutes, we have to make it through several months of these major weekend outages. Saturday and Sunday passengers will be affected from September through December, and while the MBTA was strategic about the closures—analyzing major city events and attempting to work around them—there will be a disruption to service essentially every weekend until the end of the year.

In short, the plan will first shutter stops on the Orange Line for six weekends starting in September. After that, the six Red Line stops between Broadway and Kendall will close for four weekends. Closures on the Green Line’s B, C, and D branches will occur throughout the fall. 

Will your weekend plans be affected? Almost certainly—the question is when. You can keep up with the details of which stops are closed each weekend here on the MBTA website, and we’ve compiled the outage schedule (as of August 12) into the Google Calendar below. Cross reference it with your own schedule—and if these outages totally derail your forthcoming autumn plans, at least you’ve got some time to plan ahead.