The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is closing the Red Line Ashmont Branch between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and the Mattapan Line between Ashmont and Mattapan Stations for 16 days beginning Oct. 14. During this closure, the MBTA will provide free, accessible shuttle bus service for riders on the Ashmont Branch and the Mattapan Line. The diversion will allow the MBTA to perform critical track work.
The MBTA will hold four open houses in September to provide the public an opportunity to engage with the project team, learn about the details of the construction work and voice their thoughts, comments and concerns.
“Safety of the MBTA system is paramount, and this 16-day closure allows us to address many of the Red Line’s worst speed restrictions much faster than we’ve been able to accomplish during night and weekend work,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “We understand service changes can be frustrating and I want to thank the public for their patience while we perform this critical and targeted work between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line.”
The track between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line is some of the oldest in the system and is in need of replacement. The diversion will allow crews to replace rail, ties and ballast to improve reliability and reduce maintenance needs. The MBTA is able to expedite the important work by working around the clock for 16 days with unencumbered access, which would have otherwise taken six months to complete if crews only worked during nights and weekends.
Following the work, 28 speed restrictions will be alleviated in the area, improving travel times for Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line riders. The MBTA also plans to maximize these full-access closures by identifying additional work opportunities along both lines to improve the rider experience through station enhancements, such as painting, power washing and repairing lighting fixtures, vegetation removal, the removal of tripping hazards and accessibility improvements.
Shuttle buses will make stops at all stations during this service change. Riders are also encouraged to utilize local bus routes and the Fairmount Line on the commuter rail during the service change. The Ashmont Branch serves approximately 40,000 riders per day and the Mattapan Line serves approximately 3,700 riders daily.
Some additional details about the service change:
- Shuttle buses will operate every five to six minutes during weekday peak hours and every 10 to 15 minutes during weekday and weekend off-peak hours.
- Shuttle buses will be wheelchair accessible.
- Transit Ambassadors and other MBTA personnel will be available at each shuttle stop to assist riders.
- Riders are encouraged to allow extra travel time during this service change.