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image008The MBTA announced a fourteen-day full closure of the Red Line between Braintree and Quincy Center Stations beginning Thursday, June 18, to allow for accelerated infrastructure work to take place. During this accelerated work, shuttle buses will replace service between Braintree and Quincy Center for fourteen consecutive days, including both weekdays and weekends, beginning at the start of service June 18 through the end of service on Wednesday, July 1. During that time, Zone 1A Commuter Rail fares will also temporarily be accepted at Braintree Station.

“The work accomplished during these fourteen days allows for numerous improvements, including increased safety as a result of track work and enhanced accessibility through elevator work to take place at Quincy Adams,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Our main focus is always safety, especially as riders begin returning to the system during the first phases of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, and our shuttle plan including measures that promote social distancing. We’re also offering temporary Zone 1A fares at Braintree during this shutdown and hope riders consider the Commuter Rail as another available travel option. We understand that these diversions can be inconvenient, but this service suspension allows us to expedite critical work, completing it over a month faster than planned.”

This work comes as part of the MBTA’s plan to quicken the pace of infrastructure projects in 2020 and the MBTA continues to assess other projects that can be further accelerated. This Red Line work was previously scheduled to be accomplished through a series of early access and weekend diversions later this year, and doing the work now allows its completion at a time when ridership on the Red Line continues to be decreased. The MBTA recognizes that riders do continue to take essential trips as the Commonwealth moves through its reopening plan. The MBTA’s shuttle plan includes measures to promote social distancing that protect MBTA riders and workers. The MBTA will carefully monitor ridership levels on shuttle buses, adjusting service levels if needed.

Red Line construction is part of the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program to replace subway fleets, modernize stations, and upgrade tracks, signals, and switches. The MBTA launched its 2020 Infrastructure Acceleration Plan in February 2020 aimed at improving service, safety, and reliability on faster timelines through temporary shutdowns and diversions in service. The 2020 Plan will deliver projects eight years faster than originally planned, and will result in track replacement, upgraded intersections, and station improvements. Previous and current accelerated work in 2020 includes:

  • Track work, harbor tunnel repairs, and additional infrastructure improvements successfully accomplished during a fourteen-day shutdown of the Blue Line from Bowdoin to Airport in May 2020;
  • Track and signal replacement work currently taking place during two nine-day shutdowns of the Green Line D branch, which started June 6 and lasts through June 14 and again from June 20 through June 28.

More Information about The Work:

Work accomplished during this fourteen-day shutdown includes:

  • The replacement of 3,500 ties;
  • Concrete repairs and South Shore Garage work;
  • Elevator structure work including the construction of a machine room at Quincy Adams that enhances accessibility at the station;
  • Improved safety through Red Line track replacement, resurfacing, and ballast work that will remove a long-standing speed restriction; and
  • Bridge inspections and any related repairs.

Accomplishing this work during these fourteen consecutive days allows this work to be finished about a month and a half sooner than previously planned. Taking full advantage of this temporary shutdown, work crews will also perform the overhaul of twenty-two fare gates as well as the cutting and clearing of trees and vegetation adjacent to Red Line track areas.

Temporary Zone 1A Fare Information:

During the shutdown in Red Line service from Quincy Adams to Braintree, the MBTA will temporarily accept Zone 1A fares at Braintree Station, allowing customers to ride between Braintree and South Station on the Commuter Rail for the same price as a CharlieCard subway fare. In an effort to provide additional social distancing measures as well as ease crowding onboard shuttle buses, this temporary Zone 1A fare provides another travel option for riders affected by the temporary Red Line shutdown. Customers heading inbound from Braintree to South Station and outbound from South Station to Braintree need only show the conductor their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. Monthly passes and mTickets will continue to be accepted. The MBTA will continue to closely monitor ridership levels with additional seating capacity made available on Commuter Rail trains if needed. A one-way Zone 1A commuter rail fare is $2.40.

Shuttle Bus Information:

Accessible shuttle buses will stop at all stations between Quincy Center and Braintree.

Commuter Rail Information:

In an effort to fully utilize the shutdown of the Red Line track in this area during this time period, weekend Middleboro and Kingston/Plymouth Commuter Rail trains will terminate/originate at Braintree during the weekends of June 20-21 and June 27-28. Commuter Rail customers may utilize the Red Line shuttle between Braintree and Quincy Center and further Red Line service to South Station during these weekends.

In compliance with the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts Report, riders are also reminded that face coverings are required while onboard shuttle buses. Additionally, in an effort to promote social distancing and protect the health and safety of MBTA riders and bus operators, ridership on shuttle buses is limited to twenty passengers. The MBTA is also operating additional shuttle buses than originally planned with a robust fleet of shuttles on standby to accommodate ridership demands as needed.

Following track work, the MBTA typically implements speed restrictions as a safety precaution, and customers should expect these to last for several days while the T monitors the proper settlement and consolidation of new track and stone ballast. Speed restrictions are lifted once engineers have confirmed proper settlement has occurred.

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