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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Orange line back on track: Passengers still irked by delays

MBTA+passengers+crowd+the+platform+awaiting+their+train.
Dom Ferreira
MBTA passengers crowd the platform awaiting their train. Photo by Dom Ferreira / Photography Editor

MBTA riders will be excited to know that the Orange Line resumed services on the morning of Monday, Sept. 19, after a month-long suspension. The MBTA also posted on their Twitter feed that they are proud of the work they accomplished. During the 30-day shutdown of the Orange Line, they successfully completed 96 percent of the initially planned work, consisting of 33 individual projects that improved their infrastructure and services. Some of these projects included track replacement, station improvements, upgraded digital signal systems and many more. The tweet also had a unique hashtag, “#BuildingABetterT.”
MBTA’s general manager and former member of the MassDOT board, Steve Poftak, stated that the ride would be a lot faster, and riders could expect more vehicles as well. “It’s going to be a smoother, smoother, more reliable ride. So, I’m hopeful to the extent that there are folks who have lost confidence in the T—I am hopeful that this is a step in regaining that confidence,” Poftak commented. He also said that improvements equivalent to five years’ work had been made thanks to the 30-day suspension of the Orange Line. Gov. Charlie Baker concurred that the suspension of the Orange Line has resulted in a lot of work being accomplished.
While these are amazing feats achieved by the MBTA, a rider waiting for the train at Assembly Square on Monday morning stated that the wait times are worse than before the suspension of the Orange Line service. The MBTA clarified that the trains are running slower than usual due to new tracks, which will take time to settle, and trains in those areas will have to keep their speeds in check until the final safety approvals are granted.
As a special welcome for riders, The MBTA handed out $5 Dunkin gift cards at select Orange Line stations in appreciation of the riders’ patience during the suspension, allowing these significant improvements to be made. In addition, the T also put out the word that riders can grab a free cup of coffee at the Forest Hills Station, supplied by Mike’s Donuts, and at the Downtown Crossing station, served by Downtown BID.
Mayor Michelle Wu stated at a press conference on Monday morning, that everything ran “pretty smoothly” on the reopening day of the Orange Line. “We hope that people will start returning back to the Orange Line. It was pretty smooth today. It was a six-minute wait when we got to the station and then it was 14 minutes until the next train after that,” the mayor said at City Hall Plaza. Mayor Wu took the improved Orange Line on the morning of the reopening of State Street from Forest Hills, which took about 25 minutes. “As the speeds are coming back, as the reliability is coming back, we are headed in a great direction for the Orange Line and the system overall, the more people that are getting on our trains and leaving behind cars, the less traffic there is on the road for everyone, even a little bit makes a big, big difference,” Wu stated.
As the Orange Line resumes its services, a section of the Green Line between Government Center and Union Square had also opened on Monday morning. It was suspended for a month due to the line’s extension plan into Medford and for repairing purposes.

About the Contributors
Preetan Natesh, News Writer
Dom Ferreira, Photo Editor