- The B-Side
- 🚇 The Red Line is down for the count
🚇 The Red Line is down for the count
Plus: 🍏 The teacher strike is O-V-E-R
It’s Monday, Boston.
☀️ The battle between darkness and light is coming to an end. And by that we mean, this weekend marked our first 5 p.m. sunset of 2024, and our serotonin levels couldn’t be happier. T-34 days until we spring ahead and get our daylight back.
👀 What’s on tap today:
The teacher’s strike is O-V-E-R
Belichick’s sweetest goodbye
Why Ms. G was MIA
The MBTA’s next victim
Image: Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino
Today marks day one of the 10 day, partial Red Line shutdown. As part of the MBTA’s ambitious goal of removing all speed restrictions from its tracks by 2025, shutdowns are coming for us all this year. And their next victim is the Red Line.
Here’s what to know:
🚇 The primary shutdown is from Alewife to Harvard. Shot: Starting today through Feb. 14, shuttle buses will replace trains between the two stations from the start to end of service. Chaser: The shutdown extends to Park Street after 8:45 p.m. until end of service, as will shuttle buses. This is the first of several planned partial Red Line shutdowns in 2024, with more on the way in May, July, October, and December.
⏩ The goal? Remove speed restrictions and give stations a glow up. Riders currently spend about seven to eight minutes on slow zones between Alewife and Park Street, depending on the direction. But by the time the shutdown is over, those slow zones should be on their way out (the MBTA has a solid track record so far), and stations will see a little sprucing up, too. In the meantime, stations will still remain open for you to wait for your shuttle bus away from the cold.
⏰ Not traveling between Alewife and Harvard? Doesn’t matter. The MBTA says there will be longer-than-average wait times between Red Line trains that are in service, so even if you won’t be riding through the construction zone, your travel time will be impacted. Plus: As a previous Green Line shutdown victim, following the MBTA’s advice of budgeting extra travel time will absolutely be a necessity.
🚂 But at least the commuter rail will be free. Displaced Red Liners can take advantage of free commuter rail fares between Porter Square and North Station, where you can transfer to the Green or Orange Lines, or take the 20ish minute walk to either Charles/MGH or Park Street. If you want to go beyond Porter Square, regular fare rules are in play. Also, if need be, two accessible vans will also be available on the Red Line route on weekdays.
🚴 Pro tip: Bluebiking is also a great option, especially with the recent rollout of electric blue bikes.
😪 Thoughts and prayers! The MBTA may not be one for romance, but if they can deliver a faster Red Line by Valentine’s Day, that’ll beat any bouquet.
🚃 Do you know if/when your MBTA line is shutting down this year?
Let us know below!
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: AP Photo/Steven Senne
🍏 Mass.’ longest teacher strike in decades is O-V-E-R. After 11 missed school days, Newton Teachers Association reached a tentative agreement with the Newton School Committee on Friday, and schools will reopen today. The deal includes a significant cost of living increase for educators and classroom aides, and a major expansion to the parental leave policy. But getting there wasn’t cheap: The teacher’s union currently owes the state over $600,000 in fines and the new contract will cost the district an additional $53 million over four years.
🏈 Bill Belichick is making us emo. The former (cries) Pats head coach took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Globe to wish Pats fans a final farewell. The ad included a short letter thanking New England fans, who are, according to him, thoughtful, passionate, and “undaunted by weather.” He even mentioned our enjoyment of his fashion choices and signature press conference style, signing the note “with respect and admiration.” You can read the whole letter here.
💰 Tax season got you stressing? Boston’s got you. The city’s Tax Help Coalition is on a mission to advance Bostonians’ financial independence by helping us get the most out of our tax credits (including the new ones). The group offers free tax preparation and filing services both in-person and virtually across the city to all residents earning $70,000 or less, services with necessary accommodations for the visually impaired, and free financial check-ups for anyone 18 years old or over to learn how to boost their credit, which tbh, we could all use.
⚽ A new kind of football is coming to Gillette. The 2026 World Cup schedule just dropped, and parts of it will be *extremely* close to home. It was announced back in 2022 that Boston (well, Foxborough) will be one of 16 cities in North America to host the World Cup in 2026 at Gillette Stadium. Per the schedule, Boston will host five group-stage matches, a knockout stage match, and a quarter finals match! The 48-team event will include 104 games over 40 days — 40 more games over eight more days than the 2022 edition. You can get the latest info on tickets here.
THINGS TO DO
🧀 Eat cheese with the B-Side squad. We’re hosting a charcuterie board-making class at Castle Island Brewing this Saturday. Your ticket gets you expert instruction, a charcuterie board for four, plus a drink ticket!
🌴 Take a break from winter with a Summer House moment. It’s been cold lately — time to heat things up with Summer House’s Sam Feher, who’s hosting Bravo Trivia Night at Loco in Southie on Wednesday.
🐶 Give your dogs what they really want. New friends, free treats, custom portraits, and lots of attention. Find all that at Short Path’s Doggie Date Night on Thursday.
💗 Lock in a spot to pitch your single bestie. Harpoon Brewery is hosting “Pitch a Pal” on Feb. 15 where you present a Powerpoint on why someone should date your single friend. Apply by Thursday at midnight!
😂 Watch four Boston singles go on a blind date. Yes, it’s as cringe as it sounds. The “It’s A Date” comedy show is back on Friday with a Lunar New Year theme of fun photo ops, signature drinks and more.
— Written by Claire Nicholas
🎉 Want more things to do recommendations? Refer five friends to unlock three bonus items. For those who already have, enjoy below.
🎨 Grab your boo for a couple’s art class. Dorchester Brewing Company is hosting a paint pouring class on Thursday where you can create your own abstract masterpiece. All supplies and tools are included!
🍕Get your hands on some fresh dough. Specifically, pizza dough. Pop into Fine Line in Revere tonight for an evening of pizza making and delicious drafts.
ONE LAST THING
Ms. G’s change of plans
Image: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.
This year’s Groundhogs Day looked a little different. In case you hadn’t heard, Ms. G, the commonwealth’s official groundhog slash it girl, was unable to attend this year’s traditional Groundhog Day festivities due to “unforeseen circumstances” involving her health.
According to Mass Audubon, Ms. G was experiencing some hair loss due to hormones that are common in young groundhogs, so bringing her outside would have been too chilly, and her prognostication was moved indoors to keep her warm (as they should!), where she did not see her shadow.
And if you’re thinking: “Who cares, I only listen to Punxsutawney Phil anyway” … Ms. G’s prediction accuracy is currently sitting at about 60% to Punxsutawney Phil’s 39%. Just saying.
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
🌸 Thanks for reading! Technically, no one at the farm she was at could see their shadow, so spring is coming early, baby!
🍎 The results are in: B-Siders were loud and clear: On Friday, 68% of you agreed that the teachers strike in Newton should continue until the teachers got what they wanted. One reader said: “Teachers deserve it ALL, let the strikes continue!!!”