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Building a Better T: 2 Full 9-Day Green Line D Branch Diversions Coming in June

Posted on May 29, 2020

All-day weekday and weekend diversions from Riverside to Kenmore from June 6-14 and June 20-28.

Shuttle buses will be provided, including express shuttle buses during weekday peak hours making stops at Riverside, Woodland, and Copley only.

With the goal of expediting safety and reliability improvements through a focus on core infrastructure investments, the MBTA today announced 2 full 9-day closures of the Green Line D branch between Kenmore and Riverside Stations during the month of June to allow for accelerated track and infrastructure work. During this accelerated work, shuttle buses will replace service between Riverside and Kenmore from June 6 through June 14 as well as from June 20 through June 28, each for nine consecutive days, including weekdays and weekends. During these 2 full 9-day closures, express shuttle buses will also operate during weekday peak hours making stops at Riverside, Woodland, and Copley Stations only.
“Accelerating this necessary work is an important part of our strategy to rebuild track and signal infrastructure along the Green Line, leading to faster trips and more reliable service for D branch customers,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “As always, our primary focus is on safety, especially during the initial phases of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. The MBTA’s bus shuttle service will include measures to limit capacity, promote physical distancing, and require face coverings. We acknowledge that shuttle bus diversions can be an inconvenience, but these expanded work windows allow us to make much faster progress on critical track and signal infrastructure.”

This work comes as part of the MBTA’s plan to quicken the pace of infrastructure projects in 2020 and the MBTA continues to assess whether other projects can be further accelerated. Doing the work now allows its completion at a time when ridership on the Green Line is significantly decreased due to the pandemic. The MBTA recognizes that riders do continue to take essential trips as the Commonwealth moves through the first phase of its reopening plan. The MBTA’s shuttle plan includes measures to promote social distancing that protect MBTA riders and workers. The MBTA will carefully monitor ridership levels on shuttle buses, adjusting service levels if needed.

The Green Line Transformation program is part of the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program to replace subway fleets, modernize stations, and upgrade tracks, signals, and switches. The MBTA launched its 2020 Infrastructure Acceleration Plan in February 2020 aimed at improving service, safety, and reliability on faster timelines through temporary shutdowns and diversions in service. Previous accelerated work in 2020 includes work along the Blue Line, which is currently approaching the end of a 14-day shutdown from Bowdoin to Airport Stations in which track work, harbor tunnel repairs, and additional infrastructure improvements were accomplished. The 2020 Plan will deliver projects 8 years faster than originally planned, and will result in track replacement, upgraded intersections, and station improvements.  

More Information about The Work

During these 2 full 9-day Green Line D branch closures, Green Line Transformation will accomplish major upgrades to the D branch that improve safety through track and turnout upgrades, improve reliability by reducing signal issues, and mitigate schedule impacts as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Work to take place includes: 

  • the replacement of nearly 21,500 feet of running rail;
  • the replacement of over 2,800 feet of timber ties;
  • the installation of state-of-the-art signal equipment; and 
  • the replacement of switches and 4 turnouts. 

These shutdowns also give other area projects the opportunity to complete major developments, including the MBTA’s Fenway Portal Project, the Town of Brookline’s Davis Footpath Project, and the Brookline High School Expansion Project. 

The D Branch Track and Signal Replacement project will replace approximately 6.5 miles of signal infrastructure, 25,000 feet of track, and centralize signal equipment at D branch stations. The project began in October 2018 with work taking place overnight and during weekend diversions. This Green Line D branch work now scheduled for June was previously planned to be accomplished later this year through evening and weekend diversions. Accomplishing this work now during these 2 full 9-day shutdowns will ultimately allow the project to be finished nearly 5 and a half months sooner. 

Shuttle Bus Information

Free, accessible shuttle buses will stop at stations between Riverside and Kenmore that meet or exceed current D branch schedules. Riders should note that shuttle buses are unable to stop at Beaconsfield due to narrow roadways in this area. It is recommended that riders who board or disembark at Beaconsfield should instead take the Green Line C branch from Dean Road, which is about a 4-minute walk from Beaconsfield, or access the Green Line D branch shuttle from Reservoir, which is about a 10-minute walk from Beaconsfield.

In an effort to save time for riders and expedite essential trips, an express shuttle bus will operate on weekdays during morning and evening peak hours making stops at Riverside, Woodland, and Copley Stations only. Customers desiring these express shuttles should see station personnel and/or station signage for more information and specific pick-up/drop-off areas. 

Diagram of the Green Line D branch, showing local shuttle stops between Riverside and Kenmore, and express shuttle stops at Riverside, Woodland, and Copley. No service at Beaconsfield.

Riders should note that existing area MBTA bus service will also continue to operate. Bus Routes 8, 39, 47, 60, 65, and 66 will deliver service to the Fenway, Brookline, and Longwood areas during these 2 full 9-day shutdowns.

In compliance with the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts Report, riders are also reminded that face coverings are required while onboard shuttle buses. Additionally, in an effort to promote social distancing and protect the health and safety of MBTA riders and bus operators, ridership on shuttle buses is limited to 20 passengers. The MBTA is also operating more shuttle buses than originally planned and will maintain a robust fleet of shuttle buses on standby to accommodate ridership demands as needed.

The MBTA is monitoring noise levels and encourages area residents and the public to report a noise complaint or issue by calling the 24/7 noise hotline at 508-676-3550.

Following track work, the MBTA typically implements speed restrictions as a safety precaution, and customers should expect these to last for several days while the T monitors the proper settlement and consolidation of new track and stone ballast. Speed restrictions are lifted once engineers have confirmed proper settlement has occurred. 

More Information

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