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Old 07-22-2013, 09:39 PM
40 posts, read 79,800 times
Reputation: 76


Group Will Pitch Proposal to Fund MBTA Late Night Service

It's a long read and maybe I didn't get the idea fully but here's my thoughts:

250,000 students in Boston,
The assumption that none of them ride the T currently... is that realistic?

Here's what I see...
Students who DO use the T will be in the same group as people working in the city... if they commute via the T then the only real option is to ALREADY have an unlimited pass as even if you just take a ride to and from college 5 days a week, it's cheaper than individual fares. I work in the city and this is what I have.... so instead of the full pass they will now pay Half of that which REDUCES incomes.... or did I miss something?

The rebuttal is that NONE of these students use the T currently which can't be true... lets say half of them them already use the T... this reduces their fares, reduced income for MBTA and now we are let with 125,000 possible new clients.

But if these folks don't already us the T, why? My guess is that most actually live on or near campus and don't need to. So again, no new clients.

I can't imagine there is such a huge pool of students who are dying to use the T but currently don't or can't.

Again, maybe I totally missed the point.... if it helped introduce late night service I'm all for it but is this just getting our hopes up again?
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:55 PM
Location: New England
628 posts, read 800,021 times
Reputation: 1138
Are students big users of the MBTA at all? So many of them live in dorms and walk to class--I did when I was in college, and as I recall, there were periods when I didn't get off the campus for weeks at a time. Sure the students go out for entertainment, but I wonder how many of them would be consistently doing it late at night. It's all the same problem, where Boston is a small city, not a large one like New York. With the population of New York, there are enough people out at night to justify 24 hour subway service, and here there are people who'd use it, but there just isn't the same volume of riders and it's guaranteed to lose money. Some things we just have to accept.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:27 AM
4,091 posts, read 4,384,317 times
Reputation: 5117
The powerful T union does not want late night service, period ! They will fight this tooth & nail. They got rid of late nght service once.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:49 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,962,531 times
Reputation: 6455
The assumption that only collegians would use the T "after hours" is rash to say the least. Thousands of third-shift workers would gladly do without having to drive and park. Last I checked, plenty of bars and other night spots outside the "student ghettos" were visited mostly by people looking back at 25. Why is it that all this potential patronage is written off?
It was great for me when the "Night Owl" buses were around for the brief time that they were. I'd have to start a graveyard-shift job late on any given night and drive to work before then. And, by then car-less, I eventually couldn't justify taking cabs to another overnight gig and quit the job. With a tight entertainment budget, and with concert tickets' getting no cheaper, I've forsaken catching countless shows which weren't "absolutely gotta see" caliber. Adding another twenty bucks - at least - to the price tag for the night made it not worth it.
The Night Owl experiment was poorly planned and even more poorly executed. Trying to leave Government Center, for instance, was complicated by having to figure out which of the armada of idling buses you wanted to be on. Obviously they looked identical, the digital signs weren't always accurate, and the drivers - excuse me, "operators" - were more often than not hanging out at Dunkies so couldn't be consulted. If a route had a headway of no more than twenty minutes you were lucky. From a standpoint of safety it made a lot of sense to have the lines following the subways stop at every corner or upon request. But no! The Red Line doesn't stop between Charles Circle and downtown, so the Night Owl wasn't going to either, to name but one example. And then the service was done by about 3 AM anyway.
The excuse of "maintenance can only be done while the system's shut down" grew old longer ago than I did. So did the lack-of-ridership one. (It just might save wear and tear on subway cars by not having every train consist of six cars outside of peak hours, incidentally, ya think???)
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:38 AM
3,600 posts, read 3,681,919 times
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I personally would like to see late night service return. I have zero issues getting a cab, it can just be a pain when you have tons of other people fighting for what seems to be a small amount of cabs available. Then you have to deal with selective cab drivers not wanting to go to certain areas, and then the "my credit card machine is broken" situation.

The MBTA should simply run 1 extra train on each line from each terminus. So for example you would have red line trains leaving Braintree, Ashmont and Alewife at 1:40 so by the time they are in central Boston (Financial District to Back Bay), it's roughly 2:10-2:20 and the bars have let out.

You already have MBTA cops that are working overnight anyways, simply put 1-2 of them on each train to make sure shenanigans are kept to a minimum.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:45 AM
1,769 posts, read 2,396,599 times
Reputation: 1555
If Boston wants to stay in the leagues of world class cities to live in, it has to act that way as well. You can not charge people arm and a leg to come, study, or live here and then close the town down at midnight or 1 am, just so MBTA would have less complicated job to do. Boston can not have it both ways. World class or provincial? Choose and commit already.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:26 AM
Location: a bar
2,547 posts, read 4,868,631 times
Reputation: 2600
Originally Posted by TAM88 View Post
Then you have to deal with selective cab drivers not wanting to go to certain areas, and then the "my credit card machine is broken" situation.
Not to derail the thread, but cabs are required by law to have a working CC machine. They disconnect them, or claim they aren't working, because the fees cut into they're $. If they tell you it's not working, you can legally refuse to pay cash. I tried this last year and sure enough...he magically got it working.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:32 AM
Location: MA/NH
16,521 posts, read 33,501,499 times
Reputation: 15259
The T is running massively in the red. I'd like late night T service, but the T is going to have to restructure and also raise their fares. Maybe late night service should cost more.

And the T is going to have to work on establishing new work schedules for their employees. Also, will late night shifts worked be at a higher hourly rate? Or will it be the lowest seniority workers, the ones with the least amount of work experience?

Basically, all travel around MA is going to cost more, and it shouldn't be just those in automobiles bearing the brunt of the transportation costs.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:01 PM
40 posts, read 79,800 times
Reputation: 76
Some good points made.

I don't think the point of the proposal was that only students get to use the late night service... it is to get these mysterious quarter of a million students who don't use public transport in the city, to buy the passes at a reduced rate, thus it would pay for late night service for all.

In theory it sounds great, but as I said earlier... I think their numbers are way off unless I'm not understanding something important in there (which is possible, haha).

I'm from a "city" where bus service stops running much after 6pm, once rush hour lets out, some routes might have a bus per hour but hardly even that, no subway and taxi drivers are the same everywhere, they're trying to make a living so...
So with all that in mind I find the T great in general, I get so frustrated when I go back home now to visit and can't go anywhere without a car.

I mean running full service T schedule late into the night 7 days is not going to be worth while at all... The last trains normally run through park a little before 1 anyway so it's not bad.
But if it was even a very limited service (maybe 1 every 10-15 mins) thurs-sat until maybe 2-3am, it'd be such a life saver really. It's a shame it would cost so much to do. Have the T lines running and maybe a couple of key bus routes... even if not a full schedule, if you could get from downtown to Davis and live in Somerville, you'd easily get a cab from there (just an example) but it's like $30 to cab it all the way from downtown.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:55 PM
4,091 posts, read 4,384,317 times
Reputation: 5117
They can just run it on weeknds until 3:00 am. A little over 2 hours more than normal on Friday & Saturday evenings. To really fix the T they need a new, dedicated source of income IMO. More fare hikes are not going to be enough to cover it.
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