The MBTA will shut down a portion of Red Line train service at the southern tip of the Braintree branch for two straight weeks starting later this month as part of the agency’s efforts to use a period of low ridership amid the pandemic as an opportunity to speed up repairs.
Trains between Braintree and Quincy Center will go off track between June 18 and July 1 and shuttle buses will replace the service. The T will accept Zone 1A commuter rail fares, which cost the same as a trip on the Red Line, at the Zone 2 Braintree station.
During the closure, workers will replace 3,500 ties, repair concrete, and conduct maintenance at the South Shore garage, overhaul fare gates, and improve accessibility at the Quincy Adams station through elevator and machine room work.
The agency will also inspect bridges and will finish ballast and resurfacing work that it says will help remove a speed restriction through the area. Those repairs would have taken about a month and a half longer without the platform-wide shutdown, the MBTA said.
Subway service dropped by about 90 percent during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the T has used the conditions to accelerate some planned maintenance. Trains on the Green Line’s D Branch are now using shuttle buses until the end of the month, and most of the Blue Line was offline for repairs in late May.
The T will expand service on most trains and buses that have run less frequent schedules during the pandemic starting on June 21 and 22, two weeks into the second phase of the Baker administration’s reopening plan.
Officials announced last Tuesday that the increase in trips, which the administration outlined as a feature of Phase 2, will start later this month on most platforms, ending more than three months of modified weekend schedules — about 60 percent of standard capacity on the core subway and trolley lines.