Gov. Baker Explains His Orange Line ‘WTF' Moment

The governor had a candid response to a question about the approaching 30-day shutdown

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When it comes to the MBTA, even Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker isn't immune to the occasional "WTF" moment.

During an appearance on GBH News' "Boston Public Radio" Thursday, the governor was asked about a Tweet that GBH "Morning Edition" co-host Jeremy Siegel sent out Monday morning saying he had been on the Orange Line and hadn't seen any signs or heard any announcements on the public address system about Friday's 30-day shutdown.

"It's funny, I saw Jeremy Siegel's tweet that morning and I sent it to people at the T and basically said, 'WTF?' It was interesting, they were literally right behind him in terms of the timeframe associated with getting out there and starting to deliver that," Baker said.

The governor went on to defend the work the T has been doing to get the word out about the impending closure, including publishing an online guide to navigating the various alternatives that have been set up to help commuters get where they need to go. He also said there will be "tons of people" from the T on the train platforms starting Friday to help people get around.

No matter how much work is done in advance to publicize the shutdown, Baker said he knows from experience that there are always people who won't know about it until it happens.

"It always seems to be the case on every one of these we've done," he said.

Baker also said he understands that the 30-day closure of the Orange Line will be "complicated and difficult for people," but the T will be able to get five years of track replacement done that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

"I think the most important thing we need to do is continue to do the work that has been going on," he said. "There's a friction and a tension that's impossible to avoid between service disruption and working on the system. It's always there. It's undeniable."

"I think what we are proposing to do here is the right thing to do," Baker added. "I also think it creates inconvenience and issues for people in the short term, which I get."

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