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MBTA's late-night service at risk of ending

Dignitaries announcing MBTA Late Night Service - Mass.gov website

Measured in terms of passenger trips and customer satisfaction, the MBTA's Late Night Service Pilot Program is a success. Measured simply in dollars and cents, however, it's a failure, expected to run a $10.7 million deficit during its first year. If things don't change, it seems likely the service will be cut back, or canceled entirely.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will have the final say as to whether or not Late Night service will continue, basing its decision on what the MBTA’s Late Night Service Task Force recommends at the MassDOT board meeting on April 15th.

The MBTA's Late Night Service Task Force has been hosting a series of public hearings to gather riders’ feedback on their expectations and experiences, with two meetings already held (one on Tuesday evening; one last night) and another three scheduled for next week. They also held a Twitter Town Hall on March 2. (You can also email your comments until March 11th – [email protected].)

(The Boston City Council is hosting a hearing on Late Night Service, too. It's this evening, Thursday, March 5th, starting at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Enter on Congress Street after 5:30 p.m.)

In addition to soliciting feedback from the community, the MBTA Late Night task force has published an Interim Review of the program, which can be picked up at any of the meetings or downloaded (warning, PDF).

Briefly, the Late Night Service provides an extra 90 minutes of service Friday and Saturday nights (really, early Saturday and Sunday mornings, but you know what I mean) on all four subway lines, the Silver Line (it's a bus) (except SL2), the Mattapan Trolley, and 15 "key" bus lines. ("Key" bus lines according to the T include some of the most-popular bus lines: the 1, 15, 22, 23, 28, 32, 39, 57, 66, 71, 73, 77, 111, and 116/117 buses. Also, the RIDE paratransit service.)

The Late Night Service program appears to have been popular with riders - the T expects there will have been more than 1.4 million boardings by the end of March 2015, an average of 26,961 passengers per weekend (22,606 subway, 4,335 bus).

Of course, some lines/routes have been more popular than others: Park Street is the busiest station - ~1,700 passengers board there every weekend (this would include both Red and Green line riders, since there's no way for the T to track who goes where once inside the station), then State Street (Orange, Blue), Haymarket (Green, Orange), Harvard (Red), and Kenmore (Green). Not-so-popular lines/routes include the Mattapan Trolley, the 71, 73, 116/117 bus lines, and the RIDE.

In fact, during the 41 weeks, just 28 people used the RIDE overall (not per weekend; overall).

The T's Task Force sees these as options for raising more revenue:

  • Eliminate late-night service at the end of the extended pilot
  • Continue but with service changes
  • Increase revenue from sponsorships
  • Charge a late-night fare or fare supplement
  • Other options suggested by riders

When the T talks about service changes, it means either reducing the frequency of some or all routes or dropping some routes, entirely (like, having the E Line end at Copley and having passengers transfer to the #39, which is almost the same route).

The T received $105,000 in cash from sponsors of the Late Night pilot program. It's not clear who would step up to contribute more money, or whether it would be significant enough to make a difference. Some people have been suggesting that bars & restaurants should contribute, since they are the ones, arguably, who benefit from the late night service. Others think that the colleges & universities should pay, since it appears their students are the ones using the T most.

Charging a late-night fare or having a surcharge seems to be an idea gathering steam. The T is considering having the CharlieCard not work at all, so that everyone has to pay to use the Late Night service. This would raise more revenue since right now, 59% of night-time passengers are using their CharlieCards and that doesn't raise anymore revenue. It's the 41% of people who pay at the turnstile who are bringing in the cash. (I'm simplifying.)

The T is also considering having a higher weekend fare and requiring CharlieCard holders to pay a surcharge to match the higher weekend fare - sort of like a CharlieCard Plus program.

Then there's the idea that the T raises the fare for anyone with a CharlieCard, regardless of whether or not they use the Late Night service, adding 2-4% (their numbers) to the LinkPass, for example (which costs $75 per month, currently).

The Interim Review goes into detail on what it costs to run the Late Night service, but it's too much to put here. You can download the report, or if you want, I wrote a lot more about all of this on my website, MBTA Late Night Service Pilot Program – an Interim Review report is released.

As mentioned above, the T is soliciting comments until March 11th and will then give its final recommendation to the DOT Board of Directors on April 15th. The Board will then vote on whether or not to continue the Late Night service beyond its scheduled June 19th end date.

Image above of dignitaries announcing the MBTA's Late Night Service on March 13, 2014 from the Mass.gov DOT website

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Comments

For all the bars and restaurants.

It can go on top of the 6.25% meals tax.
On top of the .75% city tax
On top of the proposed Linehan 2% Alcohol abuse tax.

Its the Mass way afterall.

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Would you look at that award winning cast in the photo? Class acts...

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Go go Gadget funding!

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I'm wondering when the hell Penny and Brain are going to show up and finally save the day already.

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"Measured simply in dollars and cents, however, it's a failure"

Other things considered failures, when measured in dollars and cents:
Schools
Libraries
Parks
Police
Fire
Roads

In other words, no shit. Nobody expected these service or the T or late night service to be profitable, ever.

I don't see anything about an economic impact report or study. Isn't that the absolute most basic piece of evidence needed? Financial analysis 101?

If it costs $10 million but brings in $20 million in economic benefits (additional bar and restaurant sales, additional employment opportunities, etc etc) then it's a success.

And wait, its not just additional sales and additional employment (mobility) opportunities, you need to throw in the health savings. 1 drunk driving death costs $10 million. By saving one life a year the program pays for itself.

But no, let's not base the decision on actual numbers.

I have a better idea, not based on any analysis:

Rush hour service is frequently cited as being the cheapest to provide, because you get the highest ridership. Problem is, it requires the purchase of vehicles that sit idle for 23 hours a day because theyre only deployed for 2-3 round trips during the peak period. At $3 million a train car (not train, a car) thats an enormous expenditure we simply can't afford.. What a waste! Lets eliminate peak headways. We should run service at the same headway all day every day so we dont waste vehicles.

Isnt throwing around idiotic numbers fun?

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around idiotically is stupid.

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I'd been considering the same thing. Here and elsewhere, the onus seems to be on the Late Night T service to pay for itself. Why? Surely there are other off-peak times when the T "loses money", such as (at a guess) 1 PM to 3 PM most days, say, or 9 PM to 11 PM on weekdays. Yet there's no consideration of turning off the T for those periods, because doing so would harm the system as a whole. The system has to run, continuously throughout the day, to be useful and reliable. Personally, I believe that "day" should include this late night service (7 days a week, really, but at least on weekends). The mere fact that that doesn't currently earn money should not be enough to shutter the service.

As well, it seems likely that this is something where the longer it runs, the more ridership it will gain. A one year trial is nice, but a five, or even ten year "trial" seems much more likely to produce a positive outcome. Establishments will stay open later, more people will get used to the service and use it regularly, and the city will prosper. I saw the coming and going of the Night Owl service a decade ago. I dearly hope the Late Night T service doesn't rise and fall in the same way.

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The National Transit Database: http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/

The one page overview for the MBTA is: http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/pubs/profiles/2013/agency_profiles/...

As for rush hour and being cheapest, the current situation is that those allegedly unused train cars have been put into service full time to while just the broken ones sit idle!

From the referenced data, you can see that red, orange, blue lines (heavy rail) have the lowest cost per passenger mile, largely because they average much higher occupancy than buses do. You have to dig through the data sets to get things like average number of riders on vehicles.

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The analysis doesn't include, because it can't all the earlier boardings that would never have been made if the late night service didn't exist

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If I'm reading it right, this post seems to be using "CharlieCard" as shorthand for "monthly pass", or at least "multi-use pass". I'm referring to lines like "The T is considering having the CharlieCard not work at all, so that everyone has to pay to use the Late Night service" and "59% of night-time passengers are using their CharlieCards and that doesn't raise anymore revenue. It's the 41% of people who pay at the turnstile who are bringing in the cash."

But that's not an accurate use of the term. I have a CharlieCard, loaded with cash, and no long-term passes. When I use my CharlieCard to pay for late-night T service, it raises revenue at $2.10 a scan. Those with unlimited use passes are not generating more revenue currently, no, but simply using a CharlieCard doesn't mean no money is being made.

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Yes, my use of CharlieCard was (unintentionally) confusing. I was trying to use the exact language of the Interim Review but they kept saying "pass" and "stored value" in places I thought were even more confusing. Apologies.

And, yes, the T applies some of your CharlieCard "pass" money toward late night service if you use it then so that amount is included in the $2 million in revenue they expect to earn from late night service.

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Cities and towns getting the extra service, along with the riders using the added service should help pay for it, since riders are only paying 16.5% of the cost.

The communities with the late night service are benefiting with somewhat larger meals/drink tax revenues, but that's not now being shared with the T. Was there any actual increase in meals taxes after late night T service started? People might have just used other transport modes, thus later T service didn't provide much economic benefit, other than to riders who should then be paying more.

Once communities get charged based on the service they get instead of current fixed relative amounts, they are motivated to advocate for greater service efficiency. They would request that bus and subway lines with inadequate ridership get reduced schedules or cut. The problem is that the Legislature would have to pass a bill to enable a change, and they are more broken than the T.

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Please explain.

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Are defined here: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter161A/S...

The communities in the "fourteen", "51", and other served communities are defined here: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter161A/S...

So I'm suggesting a law change that would allow more dynamic and fair pricing of MBTA services to the member communities based on the services provided. The current system is static and does not represent the burdens placed on the T by each community.

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Thank you.

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I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but I think they've only risen 38% since 1991. Inflation is up 72% in that time.

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Since the assessments ultimately come from local property taxes, the assessment increases are capped at 2.5%.

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If you increase by 2.5% per year from 1991 to 2015, you get an 81% increase.

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You already pay way less than the real cost of driving.

I'm suggesting a law change that would allow more dynamic and fair pricing of M̶B̶T̶A̶ road services to the m̶e̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶m̶u̶n̶i̶t̶i̶e̶s̶ private citizens based on the s̶e̶r̶v̶i̶c̶e̶s̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶v̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ miles traveled, vehicle weight and types of roads used.

You'd be cool with that too, right Markky?

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... should be tolled the same as the Tobin Bridge and Harbor Tunnels. The new open-road toll gantries make it simple to do. Why should only North Shore (and some Western Suburb) drivers pay tolls to drive into Boston, while everyone else gets to use the roads for free?

This "elephant in the room" has been ignored too long, yet it could be a major part of fixing the broken system.

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Clearly putting a $3 (or did you mean $3.50) toll on this bridge will solve all of Boston's transportation woes: http://goo.gl/maps/fETZA

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Implementation and enforcement are challenges, but it should increase motorcycle use, a far more efficient means of travel.

The easiest implementation would be driven off vehicle inspection data. The state already has years of odometer readings from vehicles and can bill appropriately after you get your vehicle inspected. The tricky part is what to do about claims that the miles driven were outside of Massachusetts and MA isn't entitled to it. A secondary problem is incentivising registering vehicles out of state which is already a problem with vehicle sales tax and RMV fee collection.

All in all, the state needs more money to repair bridges and expand roadways, so ways to fund that are necessary.

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It works in California. (Perhaps one of the few things that state has gotten right.) And it's considered safe and legal (or at least it's tolerated by police) pretty much everywhere outside Canada and 49 states of the USA. The only reason it remains illegal is a combination of spite, and an ill-considered idea of "fairness". The feeling seems to be that "If I have to sit here, so should you." People incorrectly view it as queue jumping, when in fact it's much more like opening an extra checkout lane at the supermarket for people with 5 or fewer items.

Someone a few years ago analyzed NHTSA FARS data from California, Texas, and Florida (three states with similar climates and year-round riding) and found that allowing lanesplitting results in a 1/3 reduction in rear-end collisions involving motorcycles, while not resulting in an increase in collisions of other types (e.g. via conflicts with cars changing lanes, people opening doors in traffic, etc.).

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We just need to require all cars be outfitted with RFID/GPS?/Fast Lane type device! Paying for that should be easy, it'll just be part of the cost of registering your car.

We can setup checkpoints along our existing infrastructure, similar to how the T tracks trains and buses. Then we can use all the live data to understand who is speeding, running reds, driving down one ways, tailgating other drivers. And we get to know about which heavier cars are driving more than lighter cars and we can charge them based on the damage they would cause to the road.

But we'd also get a instant understanding of where congestion is, who is causing (that should be a surprise!) and then people can start paying market rates for the corridors they are driving on! And we can take some of that money to put towards public transit, which would become more affordable when compared with the true cost of driving!

Of course, theres that pesky Constitution thing but thats never seemed to stop your ideas before, why start now.

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Our climate makes motorcycles a viable option for part of the year.
Condition of our roadways are also not great.
Lane splitting seems way to dangerous.
How about any highway expansion / upgrades include a whole roadway dedicated for non-motorized vehicles. It would be awesome if we built an extra lane along the major interstates just for bike traffic. The bike way would be run alongside but completely separate from the highway. More people would ride their bikes / rollerblade to work if they
Had a safe way to do it. It could also be used as access for maintenance / emergency vehicles

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Maybe up the tolls, as providing emergency services is more expensive. More accidents = maybe close roads all together at late hours to save funds?

Right?

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Maybe the city should pay for this. Transportation is important for economic development. And the city also keeps saying they need to retain young people (who seem to want the late night service). It would be interesting to see information on who is using the service. And, what's $10 million, didn't they give $40-50 million alone to Liberty Mutual? I know I'm oversimplifying this, but the larger economic impact should be studied. Also a year doesn't seem to be enough time to determine if the service is valuable.

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Which city? Boston, obviously, but what about Cambridge? Brookline? Medford? The fact that even the Late Night T runs through a half-dozen or so cities makes this difficult.

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All of the cities/towns being served would pay more to the T.
http://www.universalhub.com/2015/mbtas-late-night-service-risk-ending#co...

Change the state law to allow for dynamic pricing to cities and towns being served. The formula can include charges per subway and bus route by service type, number of subway/bus lines, number of stops, rider volume, and number of vehicle trips.

Unfortunately, the communities getting more than their fair share like the current system.

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So who pays for in city that has a train station where lots of people come from other cities/towns and park there to use it? Does the city with the parking lot and stop have to pay to subsidize the riders from a nearby city while that other city pays nothing? Or are you proposing charliecards that record every time you get on a stop what city you are from so the state will know who to bill? Who pays for conventioneers and other tourists, do we send a bill to those states?

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Why not all of the cities that benefit from the service.

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Harvard's endowment is $36 billion. They can't kick in a few million to pay for their students? Gas tax revenues have been going down for years but I don't see any roads being shut down due to lack of funds.

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On both a federal and state level, no one is voting to keep gas taxes in line with inflation. In a recent referendum, MA voters rejected raising our gas tax just to make it the same in terms of today's dollars as it was in years past. I hate to say it, but our elected representatives are doing what we asked them to on this one; we demanded they do something stupid that will hurt our infrastructure, and they are complying.

I certainly voted to keep the tax in line with inflation, but I'm only one man. I have no idea where the majority that voted it down thinks money for bridges and roads comes from, but I wish they were smarter.

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Yup. Anyone who voted down tying the gas tax to inflation has no right to complain about pot holes, decrepit bridges, poor snow removal, etc. You get what you pay for.

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No. I would suggest anyone voting down tying the gas tax to the CPI has lived in this state either all their life, or for many years and is sick and tired of this kind of shit and knows all too well the games our legislature are capable of.

Ask the house to put a gas tax increase on the table, that's the way it should be. You know, actually make them take a vote on it - it's what they are there for! Or, are they more concerned with winning the next election?

I will complain about the state of the roads and bridges and I will continue to do so as I see fit.

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Sales tax: Based on value of goods.
Income tax: Based on value of labor.
Property tax: Based on value of land + buildings.

The revenue collected from these taxes goes up with inflation, which lets the government also spend more on their services as their costs increase similarly. There is no reason for the gas tax to be special.

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The point of the referendum was to keep unelected technocrats (IRS functionaries who set the CPI each year) from changing the MA gas tax. You want the gas tax to go up, get the legislators to do it each time it needs to be done. That's what an elected legislature is for, writing legislation.

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...was to enable the gas tax to keep pace with inflation.

Sales tax goes up every time prices increase, but the gas tax stays the same. If you buy a widget today for $100 you pay $6.25 in sales tax. When that widget goes up to $110 next year, your sales tax goes up $0.63 with no vote from the Leg. It's almost like magic or something!

Pretty much every tax you pay is a percentage of some gross amount. This no taxation without representation line is a canard.

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Right.

So in order to demonstrate to the world how dysfunctional our legislature is that they can't vote on a totally necessary gas tax increase every single year, we deprive our infrastructure of an important revenue stream. As a result we end up with billions in interest payments from the additional money that has to be borrowed every year when costs go up but the legislature can't get consensus on a tax increase (hint: this has happened literally every single year for at least the last 30).

Tell me how this benefits us again?

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However, voting to help politicians avoid voting on tax increases during election years is both lazy and sleazy.

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This post is spot on.
Myself, I would vote for a gas tax increase and would call my reps office and voice my support.

But, letting them get out of voting is very bad.

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Tax revenue can't be earmarked for funding the things that it should - it all goes into the general fund and is disbursed from there at the whim of the legislature. A classic example of this is when taxes were raised on tobacco with the promise that it would be spent on anti-smoking ads aimed at youth. Those were working very well, but the legislature got to change its mind after a few years and divert those funds to "other needs" - on the advice of tobacco lobbyists, of course.

Washington State used to engage in this foolish and antiquated practice. Their gutting of funding for maintenance had severe and legendary consequences (loss of a couple of bridges). Now that they revamped their system to link funds collected for roadways with funding roadway repair and construction, they have been able to rework the most seismically vulnerable areas of their transportation infrastructure. They still lose bridges - but that dates to the earlier neglect and cheaping out.

MA needs to revamp the way things are paid for.

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In our state constitution. The indexing part added to the $0.03 gas tax increase was an admission that the state Legislature is completely dysfunctional and can't vote tax increases when needed. The referendum was only on the indexing. The tax increase remains, despite people who try to deceive people into thinking it was also repealed..

How is it unconstitutional? Well, because taxes must be approved by vote of either the people or representatives they elect. Inflation isn't a vote.

Fees are not taxes, so may be set by appointed boards, as opposed to elected bodies. Fees are different from taxes in that they may not be more than the cost of the service provided.

Fees are highly abused in Massachusetts in violation of the state constitution, but lawsuits backed by deep pockets would be needed to fix this. A prime example of this abuse are RMV fees on motorists which are about ten times higher than the costs to provide the services. The state is using them as taxes to pay for other things, including the MBTA, and claiming its an indirect benefit to drivers.

So, with the wide abuse of fees, gas tax indexing got the appropriate reception from voters.

The other camp was arguing that the ends justify the means, which is a poor philosophy.

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The General Court approved, so the increases were kosher. Of course, if they had balls they would have applied the excise in a percentage method, though that would have caused an utter lack of predictability along with howls when $4.00 gas would come with $0.26 tax (or whatever the rate would be.)

A sincere thanks for pointing out the actual vote last November. The legislature can tack another $0.03 or even $0.06 on the gas tax this year if they wanted to. Just no indexing.

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He promised no new taxes, even if the staggering decline in oil/gas prices make this the ideal time to increase the gas tax. There is a limit for how much the tax could be increased before being called Taxachusetts once again.

Generally, across the country, taxes are 10%-20% of the price of gas, far more than sales taxes.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/01/20/24-7-wall-st-sta...

PS: If you think debt service costs are crippling the T, look at how much they are for roads to learn why Massachusetts has so few road projects in TIP sheets.

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How many billions of dollars do we spend a year in subsidies so your gas is cheap at the pump?

As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates the total value of U.S. subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at $37.5 billion annually, including international finance. This does not include military, health, climate, or local pollution costs. These subsidies have increased dramatically as U.S. oil and gas production has increased.

http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/

And that doesn't even include the externalized costs that drivers don't pay:

A 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences claims that burning fossil fuels results in about $120 billion per year in health-related costs.

Or what we've spent on roads:

The United States is already committed to spending at least $1.6 trillion additional dollars per year in maintenance, new vehicles and fuel.

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All I ask is for the last outbound 70 bus, a popular route not included on the above list, to go to Waltham Center instead of just Watertown Square. With the late night stuff, all I can do is go to Riverside and take a cab home, albeit a much shorter ride than coming from Boston or Camnbridge or wherever. I'm don't need transit home at 2 a.m., just something after midnight.

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Or a cab from Watertown Square?

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That part of the 70 schedule boggles my mind as well.

Waltham is a densely-populated city of more than 60,000 people. But the last bus that gets you there leaves Central Square at 12:10 am.

It would add about 7 minutes of running time if they extended the 1:04 am trip from Watertown to Waltham. Yet they haven't done it.

Whose job is it to address issues like this?

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And made all the more facepalmworthy (that's a word now) as that extension would only cost about $19/night. A worthy investment sure to attract additional riders!

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Yes, let's raise the rates for the late night service on a whole system that barley works as it is.

I can see removing some if it if it's not being utilized but it's sad you can't get around a supposed "world class city" by T after midnight.

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It was a poor idea from the start. Part of what makes Boston great is being a city that does sleep. Stop trying to turn it into NYC Jr. Just because there has been an influx of newcomers doesn't mean we need to change; claiming that we need to be a 24/7 city in order to be world-class is garbage. Restaurants and bars are doing just fine, believe me, and other businesses are thriving (have you seen the Seaport District lately?). I used to get mad at my parents for saying nothing good ever happens after midnight/1am but its true. The vast majority of people I've ever heard complain about the city that does sleep have been drunks after last call...

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I'd say a much bigger part of what makes Boston great is that we're a college town, and those guys tend to be night owls. Boston is also built on its diversity, and diversity means not telling people what hours of the day they're supposed to be awake and which they're supposed to be asleep.

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People complain about the subsidy for late night service, sectioning off the late night service from the rest of service (as if people aren't using regular service more who use late night). Why isn't this done for other services? What is the subsidy required for weekend service on the Worcester Line? How about weekend evening service on the Worcester line for a passenger coming from Boston to Worcester. Or Greenbush. Is that so much less than the late night subsidy, which I think they said was $7.68?

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Why doesn't the T figure out how to run these services more efficiently?

How many employees does it take to run a Greenbush train? How much could they save if there was just the engineer?

How much does it cost to pay all those inspectors to sit in their SUVs at station closing time? How much would they save by staying open all night on weekends?

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I mean, either no one takes the fares, or at each stop a single door would be opened after the engineer applied a brake, left te cab, and walked to the car to take te fares of each ad every boarding passenger individually.

That would be inbound. I guess the engineer could take the fares of detraining riders outbound. Still, if they added a half hour to the ride, I guess it would work.

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Google "proof of payment".

In the year 2015, we shouldn't be paying people to walk through a train punching holes in pieces of paper.

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Perhaps having staff on the train checking for proof of payment?

Oh, right. That's what the conductors do.

And I suppose you think installing and maintaining ticket machines at every stop, covering a wide area, is more cost effective?

But sure, name me one large commuter rail system in North America that has no conductors on their train.

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And would be fine with paying a surcharge as long as they keep my bus route included in the mix.

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Measured simply in dollars and cents, however, it's a failure

wouldn't the MBTA as a whole be considered a failure by this measure? maybe we should just get rid of the whole thing.

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World Class, world class, etc.etc.

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Can the fare gates and boxes even be modified to disallow passes, and possibly charge a higher fare, between certain hours, without custom programming from the Charlie vendor?

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Which, considering you're talking about government IT contractors, will probably cost $10M to make happen. Or more.

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No.

Anything other than a general price bump requires hiring the vendor. The T couldn't even add the two new commuter rail zones for the Rhode Island extension.

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Of course, some lines/routes have been more popular than others: Park Street is the busiest station

Well of course it's going to have the most system entrances, it's in the middle of the city near a bunch of bars, music venues, theaters, colleges and a huge cinema, which are all places people would be leaving from late at night. Park Street also happens to serve the two most-ridden subway lines. All the other mentioned stops are also at or near late-night hotspots.

A more interesting breakdown would be where the people disembark.

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It was a poor idea from the start. Part of what makes Boston great is being a city that does sleep. Stop trying to turn it into NYC Jr. Just because there has been an influx of newcomers doesn't mean we need to change; claiming that we need to be a 24/7 city in order to be world-class is garbage. Restaurants and bars are doing just fine, believe me, and other businesses are thriving (have you seen the Seaport District lately?). I used to get mad at my parents for saying nothing good ever happens after midnight/1am but its true. The vast majority of people I've ever heard complain about the city that does sleep have been drunks after last call...

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When the T talks about service changes, it means either reducing the frequency of some or all routes or dropping some routes, entirely (like, having the E Line end at Copley and having passengers transfer to the #39, which is almost the same route).

The more you make late-night service different than usual service, and the less convenient you make the service (gee, now I have to deal with not only a Green Line train coming every 20 minutes, but also a transfer outside at 2 in the morning to a bus running every 20 minutes), the more you'll depress ridership and give incentive to those who want to shut down the service entirely.

See also the late Night Owl buses.

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I know of no other city on earth with this population density and development pattern with *zero* transit service after 1 AM.

Never mind NYC, Chicago, LA, and San Francisco. If Philadelphia, Houston, Baltimore, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, and Cleveland can have transit until 3 AM+, why can't we?

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So I guess they're looking for ways of sabotaging the service so they can get rid of it eventually, just like they did with the Night Owl Service (which was sabotaged from the get-go). Let's make it more expensive, f*ck over CharlieCard holders, cut back on service, and then... wow, no one uses it! Guess we should just get rid of it now.

The one silver lining is this is certain to make Boston less attractive to the IOC.

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If they charge extra fare on the weekend for those who use and those who don't even use the late night T service is too much for what it already is now. Service is already bad enough both weekday and weekend. But I like for some late night routes to be cut that are less popular and other routes with less frequency or number of trains and/or cars reduced from 6 cars to 4 cars so the T can save money and time and resources. Late night service should end normally till like 3am and Sunday and/or Saturday service should start later at like 7am, 8am or 9am so they can at least carry out maintenance work not just during weekday nights. During weekend nights they should copy what the MTA does "Fastrack" doing station, track, signal/switch and structural maintenance during the hours of 10pm and 5am it is very useful in getting more work done in more time. Otherwise they should stop having late night service and focus on fixing and modernizing the T in terms of maintenance.

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A subway system shouldn't need a total maintenance shutdown 7 nights per week. 5 out of 7 should more than cover it.

When the T really needs to do work, they shut down a line for an entire weekend.

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If they all close at 4:00am instead (like, say Buffalo, NY), then running the T only until around 2:30am would be like normal night service instead of extended late-night service.

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