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Mayor Wu praises crews for work repairing Orange Line during shutdown

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu listens to a speaker before US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachussetts, on Monday.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Mayor Michelle Wu said Tuesday that crews have done “great work” during the monthlong Orange Line shutdown slated to end Sept. 19 and that she doesn’t expect a comparable shutdown of another line on the transit system.

“I don’t think that there will be anything of the same scale of an entire line being shut down,” Wu said during her regular appearance on “Boston Public Radio” on GBH Radio. “Again, I don’t have a seat. The city of Boston does not have a seat on the [MBTA] board. We’re not privy to the deepest of conversations. But from all that I understand about the actual state of the infrastructure, the Orange Line, by far, had been in need of the greatest scope of repairs.”

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The repairs needed on the Red Line, she added, are “not as substantial and it’s not the entire line.”

Wu echoed other state officials in expressing confidence that the Orange Line will reopen on Sept. 19 as scheduled. But she said hiring enough workers will take longer.

“We should just set expectations as well about what the experience will be when folks return ... one big key that has not been resolved and will take time to resolve is staffing levels ... when the T is so short on positions like signal dispatchers and others that control the trains, it will still take some time to build that workforce back to be able to run at full stretch.”

Wu was also asked about the issue of late school buses, following a Globe report on Monday that Boston was struggling to meet a new state requirement that at least 95 percent of buses arrive at school on time.

“Our day one on-time, on-time performance [last week] in terms of buses getting there before the bell rang was just 50 percent, and that is not anything that you count as a passing grade,” Wu said. “But buses that got there within 15 minutes was 77 percent, and then 92 percent got there within 30 minutes. By today, we’re at over 70 percent for on time and 92 percent within 15 minutes.”

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The performance is “about the same or slightly worse than last year, which is huge considering the Orange Line challenges,” she said.

Wu said the city also had “no uncovered” bus routes.

“Every single young person who needed a ride on a bus got there, and we’re only going to keep going up from here,” Wu said.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.