August 3, 2022
Today's MBTA announcement to shut down of one of the most traveled and transit dependent corridors in the city and region comes at a time when concerns about safety, reliability, and lack of trust are at an all-time high. During the first two weeks of September the public, workers, and thousands of students are coming back to Greater Boston. This is a time to encourage transit use, not shut down a vital rapid transit line. As an alternative, the T should consider taking advantage of the month of August for a full shut down to complete FTA emergency work and then proceed with extended night and weekend work in September to address lower priority upgrades. Under any scenario, the T must develop and execute a state-of-the-art mitigation, communications, and customer service plan that is accessible to all riders, and a diversion plan that includes shorter commuter rail headways and discounted fares, extensive free shuttle service with BRT functionality, prioritization of RIDE service along the corridor, and free access to Blue Bikes. We need to hear more from Governor Baker and the T on additional alternative travel options for people who rely on the T, because right now, this plan is insufficient and incomplete. While the work is necessary, due to the lack of planning and mitigation measures, its impact can be unnecessarily brutal for both riders and our region.