The Park Street and Boylston subway stations will close at noon Saturday, until crowds disperse from the “Boston Free Speech” rally and counter-protests on Boston Common this afternoon.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority decided to close the two historic stations Saturday morning “for public safety reasons” and “out of an abundance of caution” after discussions with law enforcement officials, said Jacquelyn Goddard a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
Goddard said passengers can instead use nearby Arlington, Government Center, and Downtown Crossing stations.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said station closures are “a standard crowd management tactic similar to the annual closure of Copley Station during the [Boston] Marathon.” The stations were not closed during January’s Boston Women’s March, which drew an estimated 175,000 people.
The city permit for Saturday’s controversial rally says it is scheduled to start at noon and end at 2 p.m. The rally is expected to draw thousands of counter-protesters who believe the rally provides a platform to white supremacists.