MBTA hands out Dunkin’ gift cards after Orange Line shutdown

BOSTON, MA — The Orange Line came back to life Monday morning, resuming service after 30 days of transit disruptions due to its month-long shutdown.

With some headaches gone but frustrations lingering, the MBTA said Monday morning that its staff would hand out $5 Dunkin’ gift cards at “select Orange Line stations” as a token of appreciation to passengers.

The T did not specify the stations where it would distribute these cards.

He nonetheless thanked the runners for their patience over the past month.

“To our Orange Line passengers, thank you for your support as we worked towards #BuildingABetterT,” the agency wrote in a post on Twitter.

MBTA chief executive Steve Poftak discussed the shutdown last week, noting the work done to date. He said he and other agency staff hoped passengers would return to what has been the Orange Line network’s second-busiest subway line.

Largely new cars are running throughout the Orange Line system as some riders return to trains. This is after the MBTA said it had exceeded shutdown targets when integrating the cars. The upgrades will lead to a cleaner and more enjoyable ride, officials say, as the MBTA largely does away with its familiar but outdated old Orange Line cars.

Some passengers braced themselves for possible setbacks when the orange line returned to service on Monday. As of 8 a.m., no such major issues had been reported, according to the T.

“Slow Zones” remain in effect along the route of the Orange Line despite maintenance work, however resulting in a creepy ride in some places. While these speed restrictions are set to expire in the coming days, the MBTA confirmed over the weekend that they will temporarily remain in place to allow lane inspections and allow the lanes themselves to settle on a new ballast material.

Apart from the infrastructure, the orange line has resumed service at a reduced frequency of trains compared to normal levels.

The T reduced service on its subway lines over the summer due to staffing issues at its operations control center and has since extended those reductions, impacting the Orange line.

While Orange Line riders are noting their line’s return to service this week, the Green Line is back in operation after a near-simultaneous partial shutdown of stops between Government Center and Union Square over the past month.

Michael N. Clark