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MBTA GM says buses to blame for rushed Orange Line closure


As students return to school and fall schedules begin to ramp up, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak defended the timing of the disruptive 30-day Orange Line shutdown and said additional subway closures will continue.

Poftak said the rushed shutdown of the entire Orange Line was due to two major factors: the T’s response to federal directives to provide prolonged time for track maintenance and upgrades, and the difficulty in procuring a significant number of shuttle buses to provide alternate service.

“One of the real challenges of doing a shutdown of this size is the number of buses you need,” Poftak said at Wednesday’s Board of Directors meeting. “We have approximately 180 buses, all ADA accessible, and there is not a liquid market for those buses.

“And as we looked into it,” he added, “we came to the conclusion that if we did not do it in this window, we would not be able to do it until late October at the earliest, and we made the judgment that ridership was going to be higher, and that the tradeoffs were worth it for us to do it at this time.”


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