Shutdown of Green Line’s E Branch begins amid other, pending service pauses for maintenance

For the next 16 days, some T riders who use the Green Line’s E Branch will have to find an alternative as stops from Heath Street to Prudential Station are shut down for maintenance work.

From Saturday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 21, service will be suspended as crews perform track upgrades and other maintenance work.

Route 39 buses are being offered as an alternative, but as some riders told 7NEWS, the waiting in the heat can be a hassle.

“18 minutes! 18 minutes, I’m counting,” one rider said when asked how long she had been waiting. “We have to use it, unfortunately, and I don’t think it’s fair because we’re still paying, it’s not free, and the service is not good enough.”

The major maintenance work will include the installation of wayside equipment for the Green Line Train Protection System, which the MBTA said will help reduce the chances of train-on-train collisions.

The shut down comes amid news that the Green Line will partly shut down between Government Center and the Union Square Station to install noise walls and repair a slow zone, while also accommodating work for the remainder of the Green Line Extension project.

MBTA officials said a portion of the line needs to close between Aug. 22 and Sept. 18 to allow for the demolition of the privately-owned Government Center garage, as well as for work on the new Medford Branch. The extension was set to open this summer, but has been pushed back to late November.

All the while, riders on on the Orange Line are bracing for the upcoming 30-day shutdown, starting on Aug. 19.

The changes come after the Federal Transportation Authority slammed the MBTA for delaying necessary maintenance work needed to keep the system running.

State and local leaders, including Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, said the changes are needed to keep commuters safe.

“We’re fixing things so that you will have even smoother service in a couple of weeks and its past the point of small fixes for this system,” Wu said. “We’re at a moment now where we have that political will and the urgency to actually make the changes that we need.”

“We suspect some folks are going to make alternate plans, some people who can are going to choose to work from home more, there’s just going to be, everyone’s going to find their way in this,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston’s Chief of Streets, Transportation, and Sanitation.

Meanwhile, on the Red Line, nightly shuttle bus switches for part of the Braintree branch during the work week are entering their final leg, ending after Thursday night.