Transit advocates press MBTA to consider alternate Orange Line closure plan

A Boston-based advocacy group is calling upon the MBTA to rethink its unprecedented plans to shut down the heavily traveled Orange Line for 30 days and is offering up what it thinks is a better solution.

A Better City, which says it represents nearly 130 business leaders, said that rather than closing the Orange Line entirely from Aug. 19 to Sept. 18, the T should think about an 18-day full closure that would end on Labor Day, Sept. 5.

From there, the T could reopen the subway line on Sept. 6 and proceed with only weekend closures until Oct. 22, which A Better City said would still allow the agency to complete track maintenance work required by the Federal Transit Administration.

The group said its alternative plan, sent by letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, was “based on concerns from riders, students, school officials, businesses large and small, and our healthcare and academic institutions.”

“The month-long shutdown of the entire Orange Line would cause more harm to the regional economy than is necessary to address the significant problems that exist, and would create a dramatically unfair burden on our transit-dependent population,” said James Tierney, A Better City board chair.

Despite the proposal’s five additional weekend closures, Tierney said it would “limit impact to riders and our economy alike as we enter the critical post-Labor Day return to work and school.”

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