On board one of the 200 shuttles that were brought in to transport Orange Line riders during the train line’s 30-day shutdown, elected officials posed questions to the MBTA, hours before the start of the shutdown Friday.
Many focused on police enforcement of the many new bus lanes installed to facilitate the massive effort. Who will pay them? Are there enough staff?
And on a more basic level, “Will these buses have adequate capacity or not?” State Representative Mike Connolly, of Somerville, wondered.
We spoke to many MBTA riders ahead of the unprecedented 30-day Orange Line shutdown, which begins Friday evening. Here’s what some of them had to say.
He was one of the few officials who got a glimpse of the shuttle’s route north of the Orange Line, starting at one of two transit hubs scheduled from Aug. 19 to Sept. 19. 18 stop. On Friday, before the start of rush hour, the shuttle trip between Government Center and Oak Grove took 40 minutes, double the usual 20-minute journey time of the Orange Line train.
“Plan to be late at your destination,” said state Rep. Steven Ultrino of Malden.
(View Orange Line shuttle route maps here.)
People on the bus saw construction projects halted to allow better traffic, but also cars driving and even parked in bus lanes.
Ultrino appreciates all the prep work that has been done so far, allowing the T to do years of repair work in a matter of weeks, but still has questions about how it will go.
“Time will tell, but it’s uncomfortable for me as an elected official to say, ‘Oh, time will tell,'” he said.
The 30-day closures of one of MBTA’s main thoroughfares are now hours away.
Ultrino is one of several executives calling for some of the shuttles to run express during the ride, saying the test ride provided their insight.
Take a more detailed look at the shuttle ride here: