Boston Public Schools

Challenges Await Students Who Rely on Orange Line for Transit to Schools

There are 28 schools listed along the Orange Line and more than 4,600 students take that route

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It's been a busy morning at the Forest Hills MBTA station, with students and parents taking the shuttle bus on the first day of school in the city because of the Orange Line shutdown.

Transit ambassadors and MBTA staff were on hand most of the morning at the various T stations to help guide students and families with the alternate transportation options.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said she knows everything won't go perfectly in terms of transportation on the first day, but the school district is working with the T to make it as smooth as possible – especially with the Orange Line and part of the Green Line shut down for the first couple weeks of school.

The T published a Student Edition of its Rider’s Guide, with details on alternate routes to schools along the Orange Line.

BPS and the T also partnered up and distributed free Charlie Cards to parents, preloaded with seven-day passes, so they can ride with their students this first week and get them used to the temporary transportation plans.

Wu said Wednesday they would try to make the ride to school as smooth as possible.

“There are specific routes that are shuttles routes that BPS is working on that are taking students kind of have to travel the entire span of the Orange Line and to key points in between,” Wu said. “We’ve had communication with schools and school leaderships, looked up which students live near the Orange Line or attend schools near the Orange Line, so there’s been an extra layer upon layer of preparation and we’re here to take all that feedback and keep making it better.”

Students heading to school on Thursday seemed to be adjusting well to the changes in their commute.

"Hectic, I guess. Chaotic. But they're doing it smoothly," junior Anaijaah Thomas said of the process.

"I really appreciate all the hard work all the bus drivers and all of the city's doing for all of us to get to school on time," added student Meshach Ebbi. "I think it's just like a new way, you know. I enjoy the shuttle buses, personally, becuase I think the seats are very comfortable."

There are 28 schools listed along the Orange Line and more than 4,600 students take that route. The district said students won’t be penalized for arriving late.

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