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News MassDOT Releases Bicyclist Guide Ahead of Orange Line Closure Beginning August 19

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in partnership with the MBTA and municipal and community partners have compiled a guide for people who will be bicycling during the 30-day full closure of the Orange Line between Oak Grove and Fore
8/18/2022
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Boston The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in partnership with the MBTA and municipal and community partners have compiled a guide for people who will be bicycling during the 30-day full closure of the Orange Line between Oak Grove and Forest Hills stations beginning at 9 p.m., Friday, August 19, and the 28-day closure of the Green Line between Union Square and Government Center stations beginning on Monday, August 22.  

The Bicyclist Guide is a tool to provide route options, safety tips for people driving and bicycling, and offer additional resources to aid new and experienced cyclists alike.  

Details on Bike Routes 

Recommended bicycle routes have been developed for people who choose to bicycle instead of taking the Orange Line shuttles during the closure.  The recommended routes are shown in the Google Maps links below, and trailblazing signs will be provided along each of the routes.  The routes were specifically developed to avoid areas that will be used frequently by the Orange Line bus shuttles.  The areas for bicyclists to avoid include Sullivan Square, Rutherford Avenue, the Charles River Dam Road, and Martha Road by North Station.  

Recommended route for the northern Orange Line section: 

Inbound: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1KKzn2ePToOvowSnsV0cchjO1y4rlX6o&usp=sharing

Outbound:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1Cw0F1oEOe4n46oRWQR3Ms993F1-oyho&usp=sharing

Recommended route for the southern Orange Line section: 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1-5x0shw1uR7xRphLcG23h5V4VJknbfs&ll=42.35550377771686%2C-71.06871901691804&z=15

Free Bluebikes Passes  

Beginning Friday, August 19, free 30-day Bluebikes passes will be available to everyone during the Orange and Green Line MBTA closures. A 30-day pass includes an unlimited number of trips of up to 45 minutes without any additional fees. Individuals can use Bluebikes to travel to everyday destinations, including biking to or from train stations. 

How to get a pass

Free passes are available beginning on August 19. You can get a pass by downloading the Bluebikes app or navigating to Bluebikes.com/join and selecting a Monthly Membership. If you are a previous Bluebikes user, log in to your online account and select "Renew Membership." Current monthly members with auto-renew turned on will not be charged for the new pass this month. 

Overage fees or lost bike fees will be your responsibility. 

How to ride

  1. Find a station. To use Bluebikes, your trip will need to start and end at a station. You can see an active map of stations at bluebikes.com/map, in the Bluebikes mobile app, and at some station kiosks. 
  2. Take out a bike. You can use the mobile app, or the credit/debit card associated with your account to get a ride code or use your member key to unlock a bike.
  3. Enjoy the ride! Take as many rides as you want while your pass or membership is active.
  4. Return your bike. Return your bike to any station with an open dock. Wait for the green light on the dock to make sure it's locked.

To view a map of Bluebikes stations, visit: https://member.bluebikes.com/map/

Bikes and the MBTA  

Bicycling is a great way to connect to the MBTA, and there are several options to bring your bike with you on T or park it at an MBTA station. More details: 

Red Line: Bike are allowed except for weekdays 7 – 10 a.m. and 4 – 7 p.m.

Blue Line: Bikes are allowed except for weekdays inbound 7 – 9 a.m., and outbound except 4 – 6 p.m.

Silver Line: Bikes are not allowed on the SL1, SL2 or SL3. Bikes are allowed on SL4 and SL5 at all times. 

Green Line + Mattapan Trolley: Bikes are not allowed at any time. 

Commuter Rail: Bikes are allowed on all Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston, and Middleborough/Lakeville trains at all times.

For all other trains:

Weekdays: Bikes are allowed except during the peak period, in the peak direction. Passengers should look for bike symbols on timetables.

Weekends: Bikes are allowed at all times.

Ferry: Bikes are allowed at all times. 

Orange and Green Line Shuttles: Private shuttles operating for the MBTA can store bikes in the lower luggage area as space allows. There will be a small number of ‘low-floor city buses’ operated by the same provider that are not equipped with bike racks, and customers will have to wait for another shuttle bus with storage space.

Local Buses: Bikes are allowed at all times. 

Bringing Your Bike on the Bus: All non-electric MBTA buses are equipped with a bike rack that can hold two conventional bikes. Before the bus arrives, remove any bags or loose items from your bike. When the bus arrives, wait until it comes to a complete stop and let the driver know you’re going to use the bike rack. 

For a photo guide and step-by-step instructions for loading your bike on an MBTA bus visit: https://www.mbta.com/bikes/bringing-your-bike-the-bus

Folding bikes are allowed on all services at all times if they’re completely folded. Motorized bikes and vehicles are not allowed on the T at any time.

For more details on bike parking at MBTA Stations visit: https://www.mbta.com/bikes/bike-parking

For more information visit: https://www.mbta.com/bikes

Safety for Drivers and Bicyclists 

Drivers should anticipate more people walking and bicycling during the Orange and Green Line closures. As a reminder, people bicycling are allowed to use the full travel lane, even when there are sharrows or other adjacent bike facilities. Drivers should use extra caution when utilizing street parking and always look out for cyclists before opening a car door into a street or bike lane. 

Safety Basics for Bicycle Riders: The City of Boston has compiled this resource with tips on what to do before you ride, how to ride on city streets, and tips for riding in different weather conditions. For more information: https://www.boston.gov/departments/boston-bikes/ride-your-bike

Bicycling with Buses: People riding bikes and people driving buses often share space on the road. MassBike and LivableStreets Alliance collaborated with the MBTA and the City of Cambridge to create this guide to stay safe while bicycling around buses. For more information: https://www.massbike.org/biking_with_buses

Practice Rides: Get some practice riding the orange line routes into downtown in a group, and join morning convoys to commute by bike with experienced riders! The Boston Cyclists Union is leading two group rides on Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 11am from each end of the Orange Line into Downtown. Forest Hills into Downtown:https://www.mobilize.us/bostoncyclistsunion/event/493050/ and Oak Grove to Downtown: https://www.mobilize.us/bostoncyclistsunion/event/493768/

Daily Rides: Advocates are also coordinating daily bike convoys from both ends of the Orange Line each morning of the shutdown into downtown. Get more information about these rides and about free bike repair, available on their website: https://bostoncyclistsunion.org/orange-line-shutdown-daily-convoy-rides

More Information  

Mass511

Current roadway conditions, traffic, incidents, and highway construction activities can be seen on Mass 511

  1.  https://mass511.com/

Local Bicycle Partners

Many local partners contributed to this guide and will be providing additional information and support throughout the duration of the Orange and Green line closure. For more information visit: 

  1. Boston Cyclist Union 
  2. LivableStreets Alliance 
  3. MassBike 
  4. Bike to the Sea 

Massachusetts Department of Transportation 

Our mission is to deliver excellent customer service to people traveling in the Commonwealth by providing transportation infrastructure which is safe, reliable, robust and resilient. We work to provide a transportation system which can strengthen the state’s economy and improve the quality of life for all.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority  

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, more commonly known as the T, is one of the oldest public transit systems in the United States. It's also the largest transit system in Massachusetts.

As a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MBTA provides subway, bus, Commuter Rail, ferry, and paratransit service to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.
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