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MBTA board approves start date for month-long Orange Line shutdown, $37M shuttle bus contract – Boston 25 News

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BOSTON — The MBTA Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a plan to shut down the Orange Line for 30 days starting later this month to allow for “critical track maintenance.”

The busy subway line, which provides service to hundreds of thousands of people each day, will be closed from Aug. 19 through Sept. 18, board members said during a virtual meeting.

Yankee Line Inc. and the MBTA have partnered together under a $37 million contract to provide up to 160 shuttle buses during peak commuting hours.

Gov. Charlie Baker and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak are expected to detail the planned shutdown during a 12:30 p.m. news conference.

This announcement comes nearly a week after the MBTA postponed planned track and signal work on the Orange Line. Rail service was set to be diverted between Oak Grove and the Wellington stop between July 29 and Aug. 28.

“While the MBTA is pausing this work for now, the MBTA is exploring additional opportunities to accelerate work on the Orange Line, and will keep riders updated,” an MBTA spokesperson said July 27.

In May, the Federal Transit Administration issued a report highlighting four major safety concerns for the MBTA to address. That came a little over a month after a man was dragged to his death by a Red Line train leaving Broadway Station.

But the agency continues to be plagued by problems, including a runaway Red Line train in May and an Orange Line fire last month that sent hundreds of passengers scrambling to safety through smashed windows to escape.

The FTA ordered a “safety standdown” of the MBTA last week in response to Red Line trains rolling away on their own. Workers were required to take part in briefings where they reviewed and discussed recent incidents involving runaway trains.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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