“So far so good” as many commuters hopped on shuttle buses instead of the Orange Line Monday

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — So far so good for many commuters hopping on shuttle buses instead of the Orange Line for the first big work day during this shutdown to fix the T.

“Today, the first day for me, I think it’s good so far,” said Bilar Ahmed. “What I can recommend - more people on the ground directing people because myself I’m familiar, but some other people they don’t have any idea where to go what to do.”

For some, it was a little confusing.

“I even got maps and stuff, but I’m still not getting it,” said Genesis Peralta, commuting from Medford to Boston.

“Our intent really is to get this done in 30 days,” said Steve Poftak, General Manager for the MBTA.

Poftak says work is already underway to improve the Orange Line.

Since the train shut down on Friday, he says three projects have been completed including replacing more than 2,400 feet of track.

“We have an active work zone up and down the Orange Line and we are taking full advantage of this 30 days of unencumbered access to the Orange Line to get lots of important work done,” said Poftak.

Some of the work is happening now at Sullivan Square Station in Somerville, where crews are repairing the roof and canopy by the platform.

While this work continues, nearly 200 shuttle buses are in motion to replace the train.

“One of the things that have been particularly helpful has been reduced traffic along the diversion route, we want to thank people for not driving near these routes and staying clear of shuttle buses and dedicated bus lanes,” said Poftak.

Even though some confusion, a lot of people say the MBTA workers on the ground have been helpful, and many hope they just start to get used to these changes in the next month.

“My other hope is that people are just understanding of each other and just having patience because it is an overwhelming time for everybody,” said Peralta.

The MBTA says they’re also open to feedback and could make changes to this new system if needed to make this easier on commuters while the Orange Line is shut down. The goal is to complete five years’ worth of work in 30 days.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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