MELROSE — This letter was submitted by Mayor Paul Brodeur, Mayor of Malden Gary Christenson and Mayor of Medford Breanna Lungo-Koehn to the MBTA which offers a mitigation strategy for the planned closure of the MBTA’s Orange Line.

Dear General Manager Poftak:

We write to offer a mitigation strategy for the impacts of the planned closure of the Orange Line on August 19, 2022. Each of us represents communities whose residents rely heavily on the Orange Line. We believe the MBTA can take additional action to make this closure slightly more tolerable for our residents and your customers.

First, we ask the MBTA to offer express bus service to Boston from Oak Grove, Malden Station, and Wellington for the duration of the closure. A station-to-station shuttle will likely be overcrowded and will be subject to significant and unavoidable delays. Creating express, direct-to-Boston routes from each of the above-referenced stations using Route 93 will create more efficient and predictable service and will relieve pressure of the rest of the shuttle and commuter rail system. The MBTA has a great deal of experience running this type of service from areas north of Boston, and this unprecedented challenge makes this the perfect time to get creative with express bus service.

Second, we urge the MBTA to explore all options to increase the frequency of service on the Haverhill commuter rail line. We appreciate the T’s plan to allow passengers to board the commuter rail at Oak Grove, but without additional rider capacity, it is likely the commuter rail will also be overwhelmed by the increase in ridership resulting from the closure. Adding addition service will help alleviate the strain on existing commuter rail service and will provide more riders to access a more predictable service that is not subject to many of the challenges the shuttles will experience because of the closure.

We are all committed to an MBTA that is safe, reliable, efficient, and affordable. The changes we suggest reflect that commitment. Please let us know if we can be helpful in implementing these proposals and any other strategies to lessen the impact of the closure.