With the T trying once again for late-night service, what are your general thoughts about the service area and scope of it?
Well, this came out of left field, didn’t it? Just so everyone’s caught up, the T is planning on contracting out a route for late-night service. It would run seven nights a week starting in July, using six buses and running half hour from 1 AM to around 4 AM. The fares would be free. Here’s the “suggested route”, courtesy of Masslive:
Yes, it’s a beast. Starting in Revere, it heads through Chelsea down to East Boston via the 116/117, then it goes into downtown Boston. Snaking its way to Copley, it serves Ruggles and Dudley before running to Mattapan like a 28. This is insane, but late at night, even a route this long should be fairly reliable. The route itself is logical, connecting many low-income neighborhoods to Boston, although if this pilot proves successful, a second route from Medford and Somerville through downtown to Southie and Dorchester could be worth exploring.
The one part of it that makes me a little uneasy is the hiring of a contractor for the route. This raises some questions: for example, will the buses used be T buses? Because if this route is running with, say, Paul Revere buses, it may not have the same recognition that the T does and hinder ridership. Also, can the contractor be trusted to run a good service? I mean, we don’t want another Keolis running our late-night bus system! I like this idea overall, but it has some unanswered questions that we’ll hopefully find the answers to as July draws closer.
I would just rather have the rapid transit lines and key bus rotes run late night like they used too
That would be optimal, but they're probably looking for a low-cost solution to try to make night service work. Once they can find a system that gets decent ridership (which the former late-night service didn't really), they'll probably stick with it. They're also trying to serve people with overnight jobs this time around, rather than the partiers they tried to cater to before.