MassDOT Releases Bicyclist Guide Ahead of Orange Line Closure Beginning August 19
Posted on August 18, 2022
MassDOT, in partnership with the MBTA and municipal and community partners, have compiled a guide for people who will be biking during the 30-day full closure of the Orange Line from Oak Grove to Forest Hills stations beginning at 9 PM on Friday, August 19, and the 28-day closure of the Green Line from Union Square to Government Center stations beginning Monday, August 22.
The Bicyclist Guide is a tool to provide biking routes options, safety tips for people driving and biking, and offer additional resources to aid new and experienced cyclists alike.
Details on Bike Routes
Recommended bicycle routes have been developed for people who choose to bicycle instead of taking the Orange Line during the closure. The recommended routes are shown in the Google Maps links below, and trailblazing signs will be provided along each of the routes. The routes were specifically developed to avoid areas that will be used frequently by the Orange Line shuttles. The areas avoided include Sullivan Square, Rutherford Avenue, Charles River Dam Road, and Martha Road at the back of North Station.
Recommended route for the northern Orange Line section:
Recommended route for the southern Orange Line section:
Free Bluebikes Passes
Beginning Friday, August 19, free 30-day Bluebikes passes will be available to everyone during the Orange and Green Line MBTA closures. A 30-day pass includes an unlimited number of trips of up to 45 minutes without any additional fees. Individuals can use Bluebikes to travel to everyday destinations, including biking to or from train stations.
- How to get a pass
Free passes are available beginning on August 19. You can get a pass by downloading the Bluebikes app or navigating to Bluebikes.com/join and selecting a Monthly Membership. If you are a previous Bluebikes user, log in to your online account and select "Renew Membership." Current monthly members with auto-renew turned on will not be charged for the new pass this month.
Overage fees or lost bike fees will be your responsibility.
- How to ride
- Find a station. To use Bluebikes, your trip will need to start and end at a station. You can see an active map of stations at bluebikes.com/map, in the Bluebikes mobile app, and at some station kiosks.
- Take out a bike. You can use the mobile app, or the credit/debit card associated with your account to get a ride code or use your member key to unlock a bike.
- Enjoy the ride! Take as many rides as you want while your pass or membership is active.
- Return your bike. Return your bike to any station with an open dock. Wait for the green light on the dock to make sure it's locked.
- To view a map of Bluebikes stations, visit Bluebikes's website.
Bikes and the MBTA
Biking is a great way to connect to the MBTA, and there are several options to bring your bike with you on the T or park it at an MBTA station. More details:
- Red Line: Bike are allowed except for weekdays 7 – 10 AM and 4 – 7 PM
- Blue Line: Bikes are allowed except for weekdays inbound 7 – 9 AM, and outbound except 4 – 6 PM
- Silver Line: Bikes are not allowed on the SL1, SL2 or SL3. Bikes are allowed on SL4 and SL5 at all times.
- Green Line and Mattapan Trolley: Bikes are not allowed at any time.
- Commuter Rail: Bikes are allowed on all Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston, and Middleborough/Lakeville trains at all times.
For all other trains:
Weekdays: Bikes are allowed except during the peak period, in the peak direction. Passengers should look for bike symbols on timetables.
Weekends: Bikes are allowed at all times.
- Ferry: Bikes are allowed at all times.
- Orange and Green Line Shuttles: Private shuttles operating for the MBTA can store bikes in the lower luggage area as space allows. There will be a small number of ‘low-floor city buses’ operated by the same provider that are not equipped with bike racks, and customers will have to wait for another shuttle bus with storage space.
- Local Buses: Bikes are allowed at all times.
All non-electric MBTA buses are equipped with a bike rack that can hold two conventional bikes. Before the bus arrives, remove any bags or loose items from your bike. When the bus arrives, wait until it comes to a complete stop and let the driver know you’re going to use the bike rack.
For a photo guide and step-by-step instructions for loading your bike on an MBTA bus, visit mbta.com.
Folding bikes are allowed on all services at all times if they’re completely folded. Motorized bikes and vehicles are not allowed on the T at any time.
For more details on bike parking at MBTA stations, visit mbta.com.
Safety for Drivers and Bikers
Drivers should anticipate more people walking and biking during the Orange and Green Line closures. As a reminder, people biking are allowed to use the full travel lane, even when there are sharrows or other adjacent bike facilities. Drivers should use extra caution when utilizing street parking and always look out for cyclists before opening a car door into a street or bike lane.
- Safety Basics for Bike Riders: The City of Boston has compiled tips on what to do before you ride, how to ride on city streets, and tips for riding in different weather conditions.
- Biking with Buses: People riding bikes and people driving buses often share space on the road. MassBike and LivableStreets Alliance collaborated with the MBTA and the City of Cambridge to create a guide to stay safe while biking around buses.
- Practice Rides: Get some practice riding the Orange Line routes into downtown in a group, and join morning convoys to commute by bike with experienced riders. The Boston Cyclists Union is leading two group rides on Sunday, August 21, 2022, at 11 AM from each end of the Orange Line into downtown Boston
- Daily Rides: Advocates are also coordinating daily bike convoys from both ends of the Orange Line each morning of the shutdown into downtown. More information about these rides and about free bike repair is available online.
- Mass511: Current roadway conditions, traffic, incidents, and highway construction activities can be seen on Mass 511.
- Local Bicycle Partners: Many local partners contributed to this guide and will be providing additional information and support throughout the duration of the Orange and Green Line closures. For more information, visit: