Faced with public backlash, MBTA adds foreign-language shuttles and flyers


BOSTON – In an MBTA reversal, there will be a shuttle stop in Chinatown during the Orange line stopand the Silver Line will also make an additional stop.

People who live and work in Chinatown expressed concerns that they would be left stranded by the original MBTA plan.

The MBTA has also added foreign-language flyers explaining the closure. The lack of multilingual communication drove to a crowded cafeteria in Chinatown on Wednesday night.

Residents who speak Mandarin over Cantonese finally learned — thanks to translators — of the Orange Line’s closure.

“It’s going to be difficult for everyone, not just Orange Line riders, but anyone looking to use public transit or get around,” Mayor Michelle Wu said.

The Chinatown stop was on the list of only four stops not scheduled to have shuttles during the month-long shutdown.

After public pressure, the MBTA added an additional Silver Line stop at Surface Artery and Kneeland streets to meet demand and says it is also working on adding a replacement Orange Line shuttle stop in Chinatown , but still working on the details.

However, many said they wanted details two days before the shutdown.

“I’m not happy with this last minute stuff, and I’m almost sick of it. I’m sick of politicians who know that Chinatown has a problem, and we always have to shout and shout or it has to be a lawsuit or it has to be a major incident before anything is done,” said Chinatown resident Cecilia Cordova.

Over the next day and a half, city employees will be stepping up communication to access parts of the city where English is not the predominant language.

“Many of our seniors unfortunately don’t have access to the internet,” said “Many of them will be going door to door, providing them with brochures individually in Chinese script,” said the Boston City Councilman, Ed Flynn.

An MBTA spokesperson said plans for where shuttles will come to Chinatown and at what times will be released on Thursday.

However, if you plan to ride your bike during the shutdown, the state is planning closures on the bike path parallel to the orange line.

Cyclists and local leaders had a swift backlash for the state Recreation Department just minutes after announcing “moving closures” on the Southwest Corridor Bike Path, which runs from Back Bay Station to Forest Hills.

The shutdown was due to start on Friday – the same day as the Orange Line shutdown – and last two weeks. However, DCR said it had changed the plan and would now start repairs on Thursday and finish on Saturday, so there is only a two-day overlap.


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