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Boston to provide free Bluebikes access during Orange Line shutdown

The MBTA will close the Orange Line for one month starting on Aug. 19 for repair work.

Boston will offer free passes to Bluebikes during the upcoming Orange Line shutdown to help residents impacted by the month-long closure.

The MBTA will shut down the Orange Line for repairs from Aug. 19. until Sept. 19. On Friday, Mayor Michelle Wu and Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge announced access to 30-day passes to offer an alternate travel option for commuters. 

The free bike share passes will be available to anyone and will provide an unlimited number of 45-minute trips. Anyone interested in participating in the program can get passes at bluebikes.com/join or in the Bluebikes mobile app.

Wu’s office said Bluebikes staff will be present at key Bluebikes stations in Boston to provide guaranteed access to bikes and Bluebikes parking. 

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“Expanding access to bicycles is just one way the city is working to provide alternate routes of travel during this unprecedented shutdown,” said Wu. “Our city departments are meeting daily with the MBTA to adjust shuttle routes, set bus priority lanes, and create multilingual signage. As an Orange Line commuter, I will continue riding the MBTA to see firsthand how these alternate routes are working for our residents.”

Bluebikes operates nearly 4,000 bikes and 400 stations throughout Greater Boston, including Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Salem, and Everett. The city estimates that residents and visitors have made nearly 13 million trips since the program launched in 2011. 

To ensure rider safety, the city will implement pop-up bike lanes using barrels in the following areas:

  • Columbus Avenue and Stuart Street between Clarendon Street and Church Street 
  • Boylston Street in the Back Bay from Dartmouth Street to Arlington Street

In addition to the free Bluebike passes, transit officials are planning bus priority lanes in critical areas of the city. There will also be pop-up transit mobility hubs at Government Center and Copley Square, offering extended curb space and clear signage to help commuters navigate transfers to the Green Line, bus connections and access to Bluebikes.

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