Regular service will resume on the Orange Line and Green Line Union Square extension on Monday at 5 a.m. following a 30-day shutdown to address safety, track and infrastructure issues.

“We know this was inconvenient,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said at a press conference Sunday, thanking commuters for their patience during the shutdown. “I have ridden so many shuttles that I truly have a sense of the additional time that it took, but we are very excited as an organization to welcome our riders back to a faster, safer, more reliable Orange Line.”

While closures and shutdowns “of this size and scope” are unlikely, Poftak said, commuters can expect more diversions — meaning line shutdowns and shuttle bus replacements — in the future, including three nine-day closures of the Green Line D branch and an evening shutdown of the Red Line Braintree branch later this fall. “We are going to continue to use diversions as a tool,” Poftak said.

Gov. Charlie Baker reviews updates on the MBTA Orange Line following a 30-day shutdown with Desiree Patrice, MBTA Deputy Chief of Capital Transformation, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022
Tori Bedford GBH News

Concentrating the work into 30 days enabled the MBTA to complete the fixes in a much quicker timeline, Gov. Charlie Baker said at the news conference Sunday.

“Without the 24-hour access,” Baker said, “the T would have faced five years of weekend and evening diversions to get to the same place.”

“I think a lot of people went into this not thinking it would work, or not thinking that we would get the work done in 30 days,” Poftak added. “And we've gotten the work done in 30 days.”

A fleet of 72 new Orange Line cars will be in service starting Monday, Baker said. The MBTA also implemented fixes in longtime “slow zones,” where trains had to operate at restricted speeds due to defective track conditions. Six slow zones were eliminated during the 30-day shutdown, and 14,000 feet of rail was replaced.

“The impact of that work will be felt in about a week, while the new track and balance will settle as trains run over the areas where the slow zone removal work was done,” Baker said.

Some changes implemented during the shutdown will remain, including more train stops at Forest Hills station on the Franklin and Providence/Stoughton Commuter Rail Lines, ensuring two trains per hour during the weekday morning inbound peak hours. The Oak Grove station will remain on the Haverhill Commuter Rail Line schedule as a permanent Zone 1A stop, offering commuters another route.

Green Line service between Union Square and Government Center will also resume Monday, following progress made during the shutdown to prepare the Medford branch of the Green Line to open in November. It also allowed for continued work at the Government Center garage, a demolition project that drew wide attention in March when the garage floor collapsed and a construction worker fell to his death.

“While the work is complete, the T knows, obviously, that there's much more work to be done,” Baker said. “They'll continue to make progress in improvements throughout the system this fall and we look forward to seeing increased benefits as a result for riders.”

Fare collection starts again with the first trains Monday morning, Poftak said, meaning that passengers will no longer be able to access the Commuter Rail by showing a CharlieCard.

“My hope is when they [riders] come back, they appreciate that the product is better, that the ride is going to be faster, you're going to get more vehicles,” Poftak said. “It's going to be a smoother, smoother, more reliable ride. So I'm hopeful to the extent that there are folks who have lost confidence in the T, I'm hopeful that this is a step in regaining that confidence.”

Bob Seay contributed reporting.