On first night of Red Line work, shuttle buses extend into morning commute

"Unacceptable Management."

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
An MBTA Red Line train. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Some Red Line commuters were not happy to discover that shuttle buses were still replacing trains between Braintree and JFK/UMass early Tuesday morning.

Due to ongoing maintenance work, the MBTA announced ahead of time that beginning Monday, shuttle buses would replace trains on the Braintree branch of the Red Line for several evenings over the next two weeks.

These shuttle buses are scheduled to replace trains starting at approximately 8:45 p.m. and continuing until service ends each day on Monday to Thursday, Aug. 1-4 and Aug. 8-11.

But on Tuesday, the MBTA said shuttle buses would have to continue into the morning “due to the late completion of overnight maintenance work,” according to a tweet posted at 5:10 a.m.

Shortly before 6:30 a.m., the agency announced that it was beginning to phase shuttle buses out, which would lead to delays in service. About 45 minutes later, the MBTA said riders could expect delays of “up to 15 minutes.”

Riders did not take these impacts to the morning commute well, tweeting back at the agency to complain about how these delays led them to be late to work.


“Unacceptable Management,” one person wrote in response to the MBTA.

Others tweeted about wasting money on a $90 monthly LinkPass only to have to find and pay for other modes of transportation such as Uber or Lyft due to these delays.

Shortly after 7:30 a.m., the MBTA said regular service had resumed.

Later in the morning, the MBTA tweeted out a reminder about shuttle buses replacing trains on the Braintree branch of the Red Line on weeknights for the next two weeks.

“And apparently continue into the morning commute too,” one person on Twitter responded.

Another person asked why the agency would not just do this work during the hours that service is shut down so riders would not be impacted.

“We are beginning this before the end of service to allow work crews longer access to the tracks,” the MBTA responded. “When this is completed, we will be able to remove speed restrictions along the Braintree Branch.”

The service interruptions come after the Federal Transit Administration — which has been investigating the agency after a passenger died in April when his arm got trapped in the door of a Red Line train —  ordered an “immediate safety standdown” last week at the MBTA.

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