BOSTON (AP) — With thousands of college students flocking to Boston for the fall semester, bringing with them the risk of a coronavirus surge, Gov. Charlie Baker urged them Tuesday to “be smart."

“I think the most important thing I would say to kids is, wear the face covering, follow the rules, and recognize and understand that if you do that, your chances of both staying healthy, but your chances also of not being in a situation where you would make someone else unhealthy, are much better,” Baker said during a news conference announcing improvements to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's trolley tracks.

He told students to think of the health of their professors, proctors and advisers.

“There are ways people can behave that either make this less of an issue or more of an issue,” Baker said. “And the more we do to make it less of an issue, the more we can do to get back to what people would like to say is something closer to normal.”

Tuesday's news conference was held outdoors at the Museum of Fine Arts stop on the MBTA's Green Line E branch.

A steep drop in ridership on the T caused by the coronavirus has allowed the agency to accelerate improvement projects, the Republican governor said.

The track replacements and crossing improvements on the Green Line that took just a month would have normally taken about a year, T General Manager Steve Poftak said.

The improvements will make service faster and more reliable, he said.

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