Campus, News

BU community affected by another Green Line B closure at the start of the spring semester

The Boston University community’s commutes to and from class have been greatly impacted due to suspension of the Green Line B branch again, as the semester begins in below freezing temperatures.

The Green Line B branch service between Kenmore and Babcock Street was suspended on Jan. 16. These closures are the latest suspensions in the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s (MBTA) Track Improvement Program, which aims to eliminate all speed restrictions, improve reliability, and improve travel times by the end of 2024. 

Closed MBTA green line B branch tracks and a shuttle bus that replaces train service between Babcock and North Station. Boston University students are struggling to get to class amidst the track maintenance that will last until Jan. 28. BARRETT WALSH/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

The Green Line B, which runs straight through BU’s campus, was also shut down from North Station to Kenmore, Heath Street and at Babcock Street in late 2023. Malia McCord, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, expressed how “horrible” the suspension has been. 

“It bothers me that they’re fixing it right now when it’s freezing and snowing,” McCord said.

In place of the Green Line B Branch, riders are encouraged to use the accessible shuttle buses that run between Babcock Street and Back Bay stations.

“Students should take advantage of the heated shuttles that travel the routes where the Green Line work and upgrades are being completed,” BU Spokesperson Colin Riley wrote in an email. “The shuttles get commuters to the same destinations.”

The shutdown is allowing the MBTA to perform infrastructure and station amenity upgrades in addition to repairing the tracks, MBTA Deputy Press Secretary Lisa Battiston wrote in an email.  

Riley advised students to utilize BU’s own free shuttle, the BU Bus, which runs between the Charles River Campus, Fenway and Medical campuses. 

Despite the alternative forms of transportation, members of the BU community still face challenges. 

McCord believes the Terrier Transit App, which shows the location of the BU Bus, tends to be inaccurate.

“At least in my four semesters [at BU], it’s never been accurate,” she said.

Since the suspension, Aleksandra Kasztalska, lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences, has had to take a city bus, transfer to the Orange Line and then switch to the BU Bus to get to her office in Kenmore Square. 

“That was a nightmare,” Kasztalska said. “It was just a pain to be transferring and figuring out what to do. It just made the whole journey a little longer.”

The shutdown is also having an impact on class attendance. Kasztalska noticed how the MBTA suspension is causing her students to show up late to class.  

“[A student] told me they might be coming late until the Green Line works again because they rely on it to get [to classes],” Kasztalska said. 

Although Kasztalska did not penalize the student, the tardiness makes teaching more difficult.” 

Track work on the Green Line is expected to continue until Jan. 28, according to the MBTA.

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