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MBTA to close part of Red Line for two-week repair sprint

Shuttles will replace subway service at Braintree, Quincy Adams stations for the second half of June.

The MBTA will take advantage of low ridership during the pandemic to make substantial repairs to another subway line, this time shutting service at two stations on the Braintree end of the Red Line for two weeks.

Subway service will not be available at the Braintree and Quincy Adams stations from June 18 to July 1, with the T running shuttle buses to the Quincy Center station. The shutdown will allow the T to accelerate work previously planned later this year, but done at night and over weekends. The work includes replacing 3,500 railroad ties, repairing concrete at the Braintree and Quincy Adams parking garages, and improving elevators at Quincy Adams station.

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These kinds of long-term, around-the-clock transit shutdowns were once seen as anathema on the subway. But the T went into 2020 planning to embrace accelerated shutdowns in order to get repairs done sooner.

In February, the agency unveiled plans to shut down branches of the Green Line this summer. And MBTA officials have gotten a little more aggressive during the coronavirus pandemic. In the second half of May, the T closed much of the Blue Line for two weeks for tunnel, track, and other repair work.

The Red Line shutdown will come at a time when ridership remains far below historic norms but is starting to rebound. In addition to the shuttles, the T said Braintree riders will be allowed to ride the commuter rail for the same cost as a subway ride.

During the Blue Line shutdown, the T had similarly allowed Lynn commuter rail riders to pay the lower subway price as a tactic to push some usual subway riders away from the shuttle buses. The T recently announced it would bring back the low-cost Lynn trips for July and August as a way to help riders who usually take buses and the Blue Line keep social distance, as commuter rail trains remain largely empty.

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