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MBTA powers down Orange Line tonight for 30 days

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State transportation brass laid out a grim picture of what the next 30 days will look like during an unprecedented shutdown of the entire Orange Line.

During a Friday press conference held 12 hours before the busy subway line was set to go dark, MBTA and MassDOT leaders described a fluid alternative transit plan that will involve out-of-state shuttle bus operators traveling on unfamiliar Boston roads.

“We have drivers coming from all over the country,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. “They have been out practicing the route. I grew up here. Boston roads are sort of their own unique thing.”

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler said the T’s alternative service plan could be tweaked in the coming days, as the region gets a glimpse of what life without one of its major subway lines will look like.

“Today is the beginning,” Tesler said inside Forest Hills station, which is located on the Orange Line and is part of the commuter rail. “It is not a fixed plan. We will continue to listen, and if things are challenging and can be made better, we will do so.”

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