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Orange Line: MBTA Shuttle Routes and Transit Hubs

UPDATE: The MBTA's Orange Line reopened on Monday, September 19, 2022. You can learn about the permanent street changes the City of Boston is putting in place. This website contains an archive of the City's efforts during the Orange Line shutdown.

The City of Boston is making temporary changes to roadways on the MBTA’s shuttle diversion routes. The MBTA announced two major shuttle bus routes between:

  1. Oak Grove and State Street/Government Center, and
  2. Forest Hills and Back Bay/Copley

This shuttle service will be at no cost to riders, ADA compliant, and help connect riders to Green Line service to fill-in service gaps.

Shuttles and Street Changes

ALL-DAY CHINATOWN SHUTTLE SERVICE

The City of Boston has contracted with a third-party transportation provider to offer shuttle service in the Chinatown area during daytime hours. This service supplements the early-morning and nightime service provided by the MBTA. Previously, the MBTA’s shuttle did not provide service to Chinatown during peak and midday hours.

Starting Friday, September 2, this joint shuttle route will run every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. the next day. Both City and MBTA shuttles will use the same stops and will have integrated signage to guide riders. The combined City and MBTA shuttle services will run through September 19. 

The Chinatown shuttle will operate between Government Center and Tufts Medical Center/Chinatown Stations. Each shuttle will seat at least 14 passengers and be ADA compliant via ramp or lift. There will be at least one designated seat for wheelchair users.

MBTA SHUTTLE SERVICE

The shuttle service during the shutdown will bring as many as 200 shuttle buses onto City streets. To allow these shuttles to move safely and efficiently, the City is implementing multiple changes, including bus lanes, transit-only areas, and parking restrictions. City crews have been changing street markings and signage to create transit hubs at Copley Square and Government Center. This includes:

  • dedicated bus lanes
  • parking restrictions, and
  • curb space to allow shuttle buses to load passengers and queue.
Upcoming street changes

Our goal is to keep the MBTA’s two main shuttle routes (between Oak Grove and Government Center, and between Forest Hills and Copley) running safely and efficiently. We will continue to implement bus lanes, transit-only areas, and parking restrictions. 

City crews have begun preparations for a priority bus lane on Huntington Avenue to support the Route 39 bus, a popular alternative service for Orange Line riders. Striping and signage is completed around North Station, with dedicated pop-up bus lanes on Staniford Street and Nashua Street. In Jamaica Plain, street changes are complete, with bus lanes on Boylston Street from Amory to Lamartine Street and on Washington Street. There are also street parking restrictions on Amory Street in key locations.

At key diversion intersections across the Orange Line route, Boston police officers and cadets are helping to direct traffic for drivers and pedestrians.

The City of Boston has installed tents to keep riders dry and shaded at key stops, including at:

  • Government Center
  • Copley Square
  • Massachusetts Avenue
  • Jackson Square
  • North Station, and
  • Community College.

Getting to Tufts

We created a guide on how to get to Tufts Medical Center during the Orange Line shutdown. Download multilingual versions below:

Street Closures

Several streets will be closed to general traffic to allow shuttle operations, including:

  • State Street between Congress Street and Washington Street
  • Dartmouth Street between St. James Street and Boylston Street
  • Washington Street (northbound-only) between Arborway and Williams Street

For a full list of road closures and traffic restrictions please see the following document. Please email orangeline@boston.gov with any specific questions regarding street closures

ROAD CLOSURES AND TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS 

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