Boston's Morning Newsletter
Here's the full schedule of MBTA service disruptions in March
Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here.
Gov. Maura Healey is making her inaugural appearance as governor on Radio Boston this morning. Tune in live at 11 a.m.!
But first, the news:
We’re barely midway through February, but the MBTA is giving riders time to mentally prepare for another round of service disruptions coming in March (as promised). They’ll touch the Red, Orange and Green lines on both weekends and weeknights, as well as the Mattapan trolley and commuter rail. Here’s a look:
The Red Line: Shuttle buses will replace trains between Harvard and JFK/UMass during the weekends of March 4-5 and March 25-26 so crews can install a new digital signal system.
- The free Red Line shuttles will stop at all affected stations, except Park Street and Downtown Crossing. Instead, they’ll stop at nearby Haymarket and State stations.
- Shuttles will also greet riders between Braintree and North Quincy stations starting at 9 p.m. each night March 20-23.
The Orange Line: Train service will be suspended between Ruggles and North Station on the weekend of March 11-12 due to track work and the Government Center Garage demolition.
- The T’s advice: take the Green Line instead. There’ll also be shuttles running back and forth between Ruggles and Copley.
- Shuttles will also step in for trains between Wellington and North Stations each night March 27-30, starting at 9 p.m.
The Green Line: Shuttle buses will replace trolleys between North Station and Government Center Station on the weekend of March 11-12 due to the aforementioned garage project.
The Mattapan trolley: Shuttles will replace the full line each night March 6-9 starting at 9 p.m. so crews can “remove a staircase at Milton Station.”
The commuter rail: There’ll be two different nine-day shuttle diversions. The first is March 4-12 on the Haverhill line between Haverhill and Reading stations. And the second is March 20-28 on the Newburyport/Rockport line between Swampscott and North Station.
- During both of those diversions, the T will install a new safety system on the lines. No bikes are allowed on any of the shuttle buses, and the T still expects riders to pay commuter rail fares.
Cheers! Since things tend to get busy around here on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the T won’t have any shutdowns on March 18-19.
Remember: this is all in addition to this month’s slate of weekend diversions. These types of partial-line shutdowns are expected to continue for many more months.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has officially put her rent control plan on the agenda. After Wu filed it this week, the Boston City Council will take up the proposal during its meeting today. While the plan faces what will likely be a steeper challenge on Beacon Hill, the 13-member council could prove to be a hurdle in its own right.
- Wu made the case on Radio Boston last month that her proposal tries to prevent existing renters from being forced out by rent hikes, without discouraging development.
- However, there’s criticism from both sides. As the Boston Herald reported, at least three progressive councilors expressed concerns that Wu’s plan doesn’t do enough. At the same time, at least two more conservative councilors fear that — as the real estate industry argues — it would deter growth.
- Go deeper: Due to a number of exemptions in the policy, WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann reports it would only cover about 55% of Boston’s rental units.
- What’s next: Wu conceded Tuesday on GBH that it’s “possible” her plan doesn’t get past the Council. But before there are any votes or amendments, councilors will likely refer her proposal for a future public hearing.
Look up! No, that wasn’t a UFO above Boston last night. The train of lights that many residents have spotted in the night sky throughout the week are, in fact, SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. (There are over 3,500 in orbit as part of the global internet initiative.)
- Check out the rough schedule for when the unique sight will be visible from Boston. Your next best chance is tonight around 6:45 p.m., looking west.
P.S.— We have some unseasonably warm weather carrying us into the weekend. Looking to get outside? Here’s a great Twitter thread of scenic Greater Boston biking loops to try now or bookmark for later.