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    Employees get creative to reach work

    Logistics were daunting during T shutdown

    People rushed to catch their trains at South Station on Monday night before the rail shutdown.
    Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
    People rushed to catch their trains at South Station on Monday night before the rail shutdown.

    When Keihly Moore learned that her office planned to open Tuesday despite the subway and commuter rail shutdown, she decided the best way to get to work was on her bicycle.

    Moore equipped her bike with studded tires, put on rain pants to keep her work clothes clean, and started pedaling from her home in Jamaica Plain.

    Within 55 minutes, Moore, and the ginger molasses cookies she baked for colleagues, had arrived safely at Fort Point Channel, where she works as a designer at a firm specializing in architecture, urban design, and engineering.


    “It was awesome,” said Moore, 29, who moved from North Carolina last month. “It’s an adventure.”

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    Across the city, scores of commuters who normally rely on the T found the biggest challenge they faced Tuesday was finding a way to live without it.

    Some stayed in the city Monday night. Some found bus routes to take them where they needed to go. Others were just trying to figure things out on the fly.

    “It’s terrible,” said Mae Chen, who lives in Malden. “I really depend on the T.”

    Chen said her husband gave her a ride to downtown, where her employer provided lunch to everyone who showed up as a token of appreciation.


    But Chen still faced another commuting problem.

    “I don't know how I’m going to get home,” she said as she walked on Arch Street. “I don’t even think grabbing a cab is an option.”

    Mimi Henry, who works in Cambridge, was more fortunate. The venture capital firm where she works told staff the company would reimburse the cost of taking Uber to work.

    “I really appreciate it,” Henry said. “It’s been a crazy few weeks.”

    Jasmine Rose and Jonny Kreell walked through Downtown Crossing around noon on their way to Roxbury Crossing, 2½ miles away. Rose said she had taken a bus from Salem to meet Kreell at Haymarket Station.


    Normally, they would just take the subway to Roxbury Crossing, but the pair said they were not fazed by the prospect of walking.

    “We got snacks, so it’s all good,” Rose said.

    Karen Mitchell, executive chef at the Palm Restaurant in the Financial District, said all of her lunchtime kitchen staffers use the T. She initially tried to get the crew to their jobs using taxi services, but no cabs were available.

    Mitchell said she decided to take on the role of livery driver, traveling from her home in Lynnfield to pick up workers in Everett, Malden, and East Boston.

    “I cannot open without a kitchen crew,” said Mitchell, who has been at the restaurant for two years.

    After that trip, Mitchell went out two more times in her Honda CR-V to pick up staff members in East Boston and Dorchester and shuttle them to the restaurant. All told, Mitchell said she was on the road between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m., getting her staff to work.

    “I looked at it and said, ‘What I would want if I were in their shoes?’ And I said, ‘I would just want a safe ride to work,’ ” Mitchell said.

    At South Station, the shutdown of most public transit took some travelers by surprise.

    Gagan Manandhar said he arrived in Boston at 8 a.m. on an Amtrak train, and it was only then that he learned the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was mostly offline.

    “I came from New York, not knowing the subway was closed,” he said.

    Manandhar was waiting for a colleague to pick him up and take him to work in Winchester.

    Just getting to Boston was difficult, he said. He initially planned to travel Sunday night on a bus, but that was canceled. When he checked with the bus carrier Monday night, Manandhar was told service had resumed.

    Then when he arrived at the station, he learned the bus remained out of service, and he decided to take Amtrak.

    “I missed my work already [Monday], so I was hoping to go to work today,” he said. “It will get better.”

    Moore, the office worker who biked to her job, said she would consider doing it again. The commute, she said, took less time than the 90-minute journey she endured Monday when she took the MBTA to the office.

    “It was a lot more fun. That’s for sure,” she said.

    Laura Crimaldi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.