The Orange Line ended its 30 day closure this morning when trains rolled out of Oak Grove and Forest Hills.
The MBTA’s woes, long documented, led to an intervention by the Federal Transit Authority earlier this year. I won’t go through the whole list; if you’re a regular T rider, you know them all too well. Still, it is worth revisiting the Orange Line fire back in mid-July. You remember that one, right? It was the one where Orange Line riders had to push out a window on the train car and climb out onto tracks on a bridge over the Mystic River. One lady even jumped into the river and swam to shore. Classic.
That disaster was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. That, added to the findings in the FTA’s report, forced Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s hand. She called for an extended shutdown that would allow the MBTA to address a host of issues, mainly the long-neglected maintenance pointed out by the FTA in their report. So from August 19 through September 19, the Orange Line was shut down completely, with shuttle buses doing the work of transporting passengers from station to station. That all ended this morning.
The Orange Line Is Back
I break it all down for you below (including a “sneak peek” at the new MBTA map of the Orange, Red, Blue, and Green Lines), but so far, so good. Unfortunately, so far so slow as well. As the MBTA tweeted, “Speed restrictions are in place in some areas while the new track and ballast settle. These will be lifted in a few days.” Hey, at least they’re rolling out trains on the deadline day. Did anyone else have the sinking feeling that this Orange Line shutdown was going to go the way of the Big Dig?