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.