MBTA looks to start limited late-night bus service in July

The Herald reports the T is soliciting bids from companies to run buses between 1 and 4:15 a.m. from Mattapan into downtown and then up to East Boston and Chelsea for a nine-month pilot.

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The FMCB asked MBTA staff to

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The FMCB asked MBTA staff to request bids after they weren't happy with the potential cost to run in house. I they aren't happy with the bids they get back, they might not move forward with an award.

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Free?

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I thought riding the T was free. I get on at Quincy center every morning and the vast majority of passengers doesn't pay. I will say that the Yankee bus shuttle provides excellent and courteous service since Wollaston station is closed and hope they get the contract.

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It’s all about the money, right?

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Having been in Boston for a short 17 years now—and having started that with 10 years in the general BU radius as a student and alumnus—I feel like this won’t end well. Hasn’t this general “late nite service” thing happened and ended a few times already? And, am I wrong in assuming that unless a billion dollars falls from the sky this will end in flames like all the other attempts?

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You are correct

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the problem is they keep "trying" and having "pilot programs" to "test" late night service, instead if, just, you know, INSTITUTING late night service.
What this does is make it look like they give a shit about the public's demands while setting up said "test" for failure. I'm sure a bus running from Mattapan to Eastie all hours of the night will do gangbusters. (Eye roll)

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It will do "gangbusters"

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Because this time, rather than focusing on late night revelers, the service will be connecting those who work late at night (including those who work in the revelry industry) with where they live.

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Nope

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The program is trying to do everything at once. The test will fail

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I disagree

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Previous attempts, including bustitution of the rail lines (early 2000s) and running the rails in addition to providing bus service on all the key routes (a few years back) were trying to do everything at once. This is specifically targeting overnight workers. No college kids. No hipsters. Workers. On a single (or perhaps 2) bus route invented solely for this pilot.

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It will not do gangbusters

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if you're from transit matters, the proposal is feasible

if you're from everyone else, the proposal is already doa

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I'm from Mattapan

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This is the worst idea yet from Transit Matters. Sort of like a 28X frankenstein with zigs and zags

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Maybe its time to trim the fluff transportation groups

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Seriously. Transportation 4 Mass, Transit Matters, The Dukakis Center, The Conservation Law Foundation, MassBike, the Boston Cyclist Union, Livable Streets Alliance. On and on and on, Their advocacy overlap. And they cause more harm than good.

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In Boston, "late night" means

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In Boston, "late night" means drunken students who can take Ubers or walk home. We don't need this.

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Well, except all the non

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Well, except all the non-drunk workers who just want to get home at 2am without paying $20+ for the privilege of doing so.

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Yeah, all those drunk

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Yeah, all those drunk students who live in Mattapan where there literally is not a single restaurant with a liquor license. Your post is shockingly not good.

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Do you ever wonder?

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How all those workers get to the airport so that it can start processing passengers at 4am?

Or how hospitals stay staffed 24 hours?

Or how restaurant workers get home after closing time?

Seriously.

Come on.

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Right, because all the high

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Right, because all the high paying jobs are for people who live in the Seaport and Back Bay.

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How about more buses during

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How about more buses during my regular jam-packed commute? Nothing good happens after midnight....

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Why on earth would you run a

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Why on earth would you run a buses from Mattapan to East Boston? Is that just awful wording on their part?

I would hope that is just ambiguous wording on their part, as it would make sense to run *a* bus from the South End to Mattapan down Blue Hill Ave, and *a* bus from near Haymarket into East Boston, loop back into Chelsea via Revere Beach Parkway to Route 1 back to Haymarket like the 111 finishes.

Of course I'm not going to assume too much about them not just having multiple buses running some convoluted path winding much of the length of the city, but we shall see. Either way, they need to serve the working poor who are getting boned having to pay a few hours wages taking cabs home each night because the T stops running before their jobs end. This is particularly hard on those living in East Boston and Chelsea as you can't just hoof it home if you don't have the money for a cab (or if you can't even get one to take your fare).

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Alright, thanks. One minor

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Alright, thanks. One minor quibble with that route is it makes zero sense to loop back to Maverick Square. Airport workers would have to track back to exactly where the bus will exit the tunnel (by Porter/Chelsea) just to get to work. It would make more sense to exit the tunnel and pull up past Santarpio's, and drop the passengers at Bremen and Porter (where there are zero houses abutting for noise considerations), and take a left and continue back toward Central Square to Meridian and into Chelsea. Heading all the way back to Maverick accomplishes nothing, really. More people live in the area around Central Square and Eagle Hill, and Bremen/Porter still gives those in Jeffries Point access by walking up Porter and taking a right (while airport workers walk straight past Embassy Suites).

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Confused about airport access

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How do the workers get from Maverick to where the jobs actually are? (Hope I'm looking at the right route map)

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it's a bit of a pain. You'd

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it's a bit of a pain. You'd walk up to Maverick Street and take a right, take a left on Cottage to the end, and go past Embassy Suites to where the car rental building is. The shuttles to the airport pick up there. Or, if the train is running, they just go to Airport. There's nothing open in Maverick at that time of night, and the population center of East Boston is closer to Santarpio's than Maverick.

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Is it me

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Or does it not make sense for the bus not to stop closer to the airport?

It could drop off at the T station busway. I'm sure Massport would be happy to pick up workers with its own bus fleet. Hell, they started their own Back Bay express bus because the T never bothered to try it.

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Yeah, that is what I am

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Yeah, that is what I am saying. But the corner of Bremen and Porter near Santarpio's makes more sense because Massport closes the gate to the Airport station after the last train (and bringing them to the Airport stop bus area would be even more circuitous). And heading up Porter toward Meridian keeps the bus on the same course without taking a 10 minute detour just to drop people off at Maverick Station for...reasons. As they are running just one bus route at a time, every little bit of wasted time adds up.

Maybe they need to drop people off at sanctioned MBTA stops? I dunno, but Maverick isn't the solution.

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Do the hospitals, security

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Do the hospitals, security firms, cleaning services, hotels, airports and all the other services that keep the city moving when you are drinking on a Friday night close early? No, they continue running even as we sit around a bar complaining that it will close at 2am instead of 5am. I am not against late night bar service but to say that there is no need for late night transit because it does not fit into you social life is very tunnel vision of you.

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Meh

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Most night shifts are 11-7 or thereabouts right? So not to sure hospital workers, security guards, etc are enough of a reason to institute late night service.

Furthermore, the reason this didn't work out last time was because the cost outweighed the benefit. In other words, there weren't enough of these late night workers to justify keeping the service running.

As for me, I am in the house by 10pm most nights, and in by midnight just about every night. So my particular concerns don't matter that much.

My ultimate point is Boston should grow the F up, allow establishments to stay open late if they so choose, and I'm not referring to just bars/clubs.

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No

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That is not really correct. For example, first shift at Logan Airport has to get in around 3:30am to serve up lattes to grumpy passengers who couldn't get a coffee anywhere between their home/hotel and the airport. Also, gate agents, and all other staff who would have nothing to do between the last flight and prep for the first flight, which just happens to overlap completely with when the train stops running.

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Fair point

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But there aren't enough of those workers to justify a late night service.

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Here's another reason....

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A personal tale of woe if you will.
I went to LA once, to visit some friends. before I left I made sure I had put some cash on my Charlie card so I could get home to Watertown when my plane arrived in Boston. The flight was scheduled to arrive at 11:15pm, plenty of time to get on the T.
Well, a connecting flight got delayed and we LANDED in time to catch the last T outta the airport, but with all the Taxi-ing etc, the T was done by the time I stepped to the curb.
Now, the rest of the circumstances I guess are my fault, but regardless I was stuck. I spent all my money partying in LA, like I knew I would. (has that charged up Charlie card tho! Now worthless) I had to be at work the next day in Brighton, and I had $2 cash on me, and at the time no credit card. If you aren't aware there is no way to walk away from the airport, you MUST take a train, bus or car out of there. I was told to "just wait until the T starts again." A mere 5+ hours hanging out in an airport where NOTHING is open.
I began talking to people. Cops, T workers, anyone. I begged a State Trooper to just give me a ride through the tunnel and dump me in East Boston. Nothing doing. (Protect and Serve guys, lol)
Finally a kindly T worker took me to the bus that shuttles T employees to their parking garage in...Everett maybe? Not sure. They let me on the bus and got me to a place where I could walk away by land. This was after like 45 minutes of begging for a way out as I didn't want to sleep in the airport with all my shit on me.
I walked home to Watertown. 14+ miles. 4.5 hours. I was in bed before the train started running, so I win I guess? The next day my foot was swollen but I still went in to work, on like 2-3 hours sleep.
WHAT BLISS!
You can choose to believe this story or not, I don't care, I lived it. The proposed route would not have taken me to Watertown. However, it WOULD get me outta the airport, closer to my destination, and would have saved me almost an hour of begging, a T worker from having to break the rules, and likely another hour of walking.

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Because the MBTA shuts down

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Because the MBTA shuts down even earlier than many bars and restaurants. Workers also need it to get to their early morning shifts or get home from a late shift.

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