Local News

The Green Line’s E branch is closed. Here’s why, and how to get around it.

The C branch previously closed for 12 days, while the entire Orange Line will shut down for 30 days later this month.

A Green Line train at the Museum of Fine Arts station on the E branch. David L. Ryan/Boston Globe

Just a couple weeks before the entire Orange Line will shut down for 30 days, another portion of the MBTA subway system is now closed to riders. The Green Line’s E branch closed Saturday, and will remain shut down until Aug. 21. 

This 16-day full-access closure will allow workers to replace about 2,000 feet of track and install Green Line Train Protection System (GLTPS) equipment, according to the MBTA. Most of the work will take place between the Longwood Avenue and Brigham Circle stations. 

The T will provide alternative shuttle bus service for riders during this time. The Route 39 bus line, which runs along the E branch, will be “enhanced” with more vehicles during the closure. These added buses will run from the Heath Street station to Copley station and back. 


The work on the E branch is part of a wider effort dubbed the Green Line Transformation. This project is focused on improving reliability and service quality for riders of the T’s most popular line.

The C branch was previously closed for 12 days. 

“Capital Transformation continues to work diligently to deliver the best service possible for all Green Line riders,” said MBTA Chief of Capital Transformation Angel Peña in a statement. “With two branches now complete, the team is excited to shift our focus to the E branch, bringing critical improvements to the area. It is our team’s top priority to keep all riders informed throughout the duration of the 16-day closure.”

During the closure of the C branch, workers replaced 1,500 feet of track from St. Mary’s to Kenmore stations and installed trackside equipment for GLTPS. 

This system uses technology on trains themselves and along the tracks to better avoid train-on-train collisions. Radar, signals, and cameras send data to Green Line trains as they move. The system then notifies train operators of potential dangers. It can also automatically stop the train when another train is detected in its path, when a red light is found, or when the vehicle is traveling over a specific speed. On top of reducing the risk of collisions, the GLTPS system should also improve travel time for riders by eliminating unplanned stops.


MBTA officials recently announced that the planned Green Line extension into Medford will be delayed until November. Shuttle buses will replace Green Line service between the Government Center station and the new Union Square station in Somerville from Aug. 22 through Sept. 18. 

Multiple factors have contributed to this move, including the availability of workers that were previously scheduled to prioritize the Green Line extension. Instead, many of them have been reassigned to other construction work necessitated by the Federal Transit Administration’s Safety Management Inspection directives.

“Although construction can be disruptive, I want to thank all Green Line riders for their patience and understanding during this time of improvement,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a statement. 


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