Free Shuttle Buses to Replace Service Free Fairmount Commuter Rail Line and Route 18 Bus Service during 16-day Closure

BOSTON – The MBTA is reminding riders of the closure of the Red Line’s Ashmont Branch and the Mattapan Line for 16 days beginning tomorrow, October 14.  Service on both lines will resume on Monday, October 30.

“Safety of the MBTA system is paramount, and this 16-day closure allows us to address many of the Red Line’s worst speed restrictions much faster than we’ve been able to accomplish during night and weekend work,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “We understand service changes can be challenging, and I want to thank the public for their patience while we perform this critical and targeted work between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line.”

During the 16-day closure, the MBTA will provide free, accessible shuttle bus service for Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line riders. The Fairmount Commuter Rail Line and Bus Route 18 will also be free for the next 16 days. Route 18 connects to Andrew, Savin Hill, Fields Corner, Shawmut, and Ashmont stations. JFK/UMass is also about 0.3 miles from Route 18’s Dorchester Ave @ Cottage St stop. The MBTA has developed a tailored Riders’ Guide that includes alternate travel options and more available at

“While this service change will be challenging for our riders, they have let me know that they appreciate that we are committed to improving their travels,” said General Manager Eng. “By offering alternative shuttle bus service, free Fairmount Commuter Rail Line service, and free Route 18 bus service during the closure, we want our riders to know that we want them to continue to use mass transportation while we perform this work, and that we value and understand how they rely on the MBTA and the services we provide.”

The track between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line is some of the oldest in the system and is in need of replacement. This diversion will allow crews to replace rail, ties, and ballast to improve reliability and reduce maintenance needs. The MBTA is able to expedite this important work by working around the clock for 16 days with unencumbered access, which would have otherwise taken six months to complete if crews only worked during nights and weekends. Following this work, all speed restrictions will be alleviated in this area, improving travel times for Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line riders.

Shuttle buses will make stops at all stations during this service change. The Ashmont Branch serves approximately 40,000 riders per day, and the Mattapan Line serves approximately 3,700 riders daily

For more information, visit or connect with the T on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, Facebook /TheMBTAInstagram @theMBTA, Threads @thembta, or TikTok @thembta.

Leave A Comment