The MBTA is such a hot mess. I seriously feel for the people who rely on it for their main mode of transportation. There have been issues for YEARS! From major delays, to breakdowns, to runaways trains, and a train that caught on fire where a woman jumped into the water below. And we can’t forget the shutdown during COVID when someone licked the train. All that said, the Orange Line is getting ready to shut down from August 19th – September 19th.
The Orange Line
The Orange line has a well-earned reputation of being the worst line of the MBTA. It’s also the second most traveled line, behind the Red line. Pre-COVID, in 2019, the daily ridership on the Orange line was 201,000. According to the MBTA, ridership is still down from pre-pandemic levels. As of June, ridership on the Red and Orange lines was down about 50%. On the Blue Line, it was down 44%.
Fun Fact: The Orange line opened in 1901, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those trains were still in service. Lol
Make the T Free
With all the issues on the T, a lot of people are calling for them to drop the fees. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Ed Markey are both calling on the T to make it free during the Orange line shutdown. They both say that making the T free during this time would help ensure that riders won’t be financially impacted during the shutdown. They also say in a press release that this could help with “addressing the transit gaps that have deepened the racial and economic disparities in our communities. In addition, fare-free transit would also help lower costs for riders during a time of rising inflation.”
There are a lot of moving parts to this shutdown, and the MBTA recently released A Rider’s Guide to Planning Ahead. Here are 9 Things You Need to Know About the Orange and Green Line Shutdowns.