Local mayors and city managers still lack ‘clear answers’ from MBTA ahead of Orange Line shutdown

Boston’s Orange Line will be closed in days for major construction, and local mayors and city managers still lack ‘clear answers’ from MBTA on logistics, shuttles, traffic, service delays and more, said a mayor on Greater Boston.

Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said that while the beleaguered Orange Line needs to be repaired, “more time and thought should have been spent on planning, more communication with mayors, managers municipalities and towns that are going to be so badly affected”.

Lungo-Koehn said she’s been on many calls with the MBTA, but “for a lot of those calls, you don’t have clear answers.”

She said she asked the MBTA that some of the shuttles replacing Orange Line service be express buses to avoid congestion and delays, but she got no commitment on that request.

Richard Dimino, president and CEO of the organization A Better City, said the closure should have been executed differently. “It seems really abrupt to announce the closure for four weeks of a major rapid transit line.” He noted that the first two weeks of September mark a particularly inopportune time for the shutdown, with students returning to school.

Dimino said Boston city officials began working on street planning two weeks ago. “That’s no way to run a street system and it’s going to be – unfortunately – it’s going to be chaotic.”

When asked if the shutdown would actually be completed within the allotted 30 days, Dimino replied quickly and simply, “no.”

Watch: Few ‘clear answers’ Mayor of Medford expresses frustration over Orange Line closure