Press Release: 2019-11-08

Building A Better T: Sixth and Final Weekend Orange Line Diversion Starts Friday

Building A Better T: Sixth and Final Weekend Orange Line Diversion Starts Friday

Posted on November 7, 2019

Diversion limits expanded: No Orange Line service from Sullivan Square to Ruggles Station.

Replacement buses will stop at or near all Orange Line stations within the diversion.

Customers strongly urged to use parallel Green Line service through downtown Boston.

Learn more at mbta.com/OLwork


Today the MBTA announced several changes associated with the sixth and final weekend Orange Line service suspension that begins Friday at 8:45 PM until the start of service on Monday, November 11.  

Line diagram of the Orange Line, showing shuttles running between Sullivan Square and Ruggles.

For the final weekend Orange Line diversion, the following changes will be in effect:

  • The limits of the weekend shutdown will be extended south to Ruggles Station, meaning there will be no Orange Line service between Sullivan Square and Ruggles Stations;
  • Replacement bus service, which previously ran between Sullivan Square and Haymarket Stations only, will now be expanded to cover the entire length of the diversion from Sullivan Square to Ruggles;
  • Shuttle buses will make stops at or near all Orange Line stations within the diversion.

In addition to shuttle buses, the MBTA strongly urges Orange Line customers to consider the Green Line during the extended diversion, as the E Branch of the Green Line parallels much of the shuttle route.

Anticipating additional Green Line riders, the MBTA has also taken several actions, which include: 

  • Increasing the number of trolleys that typically run as a single car to 2-car sets;
  • Increasing the total number of trolleys in service between Kenmore and North Station  this weekend;  
  • Customers can also use the MBTA's trip planner to help determine the best travel options for their individual trips.

Extending the limits of the diversion allows for an additional point of access to the underground work zone, making it possible for 2 crews to perform track work within the work zone at the same time. In addition, more access provides enhanced flexibility for staging construction equipment inside the tunnel while also shortening travel distances, thereby saving time when moving equipment and materials into and out of the work zone. 

“Extending the limits of the diversion adds to the inconvenience for customers but allows us to double the amount of track work we can do,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to express my deep appreciation to our customers who have been impacted during the course of these weekend diversions. While we recognize service diversions are disruptive, they are critical to our efforts to accelerate improvements, increase safety, and continue building a better T.”

Extra weekend Commuter Rail service (Saturdays only) will continue operating between Forest Hills and South Station. The MBTA will also be operating additional Green Line service for the duration of the diversion. Customers can find more information on alternate travel options at mbta.com/OLwork.

The suspension of weekend Orange Line service is a key component of the MBTA’s 2019 Capital Acceleration Plan, and allows the T to expedite upgrades to core infrastructure and to perform maintenance activities.

Upcoming Red Line Diversion

Following the completion of the sixth and final weekend diversion on the Orange Line, weekend diversions will shift to the Red Line. As previously announced, the MBTA will implement 4 weekend Red Line service suspensions between Broadway and Kendall/MIT Stations beginning Fridays at 8:45 PM until the start of service on Mondays starting on Friday, November 15. (Regular Red Line service will operate the weekend of Thanksgiving, November 29 – December 1.) Learn more at mbta.com/RLwork.