Letter to the Editor

To the Simmons Community:

It’s like a dream come true. Starting March 28, Bostonians can take the T home from their drunken misadventures until 2:30 a.m. More importantly, those who work the night shift have a cost-effective option other than driving, walking, or taking a cab.

And like many dreams, it can all disappear in a moment.

This is huge for Boston. When your friends in New York or DC mock the city because public transit stops at 1 a.m., you can officially backhand them. But the continuation of late night service depends on its customers.

“Ridership numbers must support any case for the program’s extension,” said MBTA Spokesperson Kelly Smith in an email.

In other words, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Boston has seen this happen before with late night bus services. MBTA’s Night Owl closed nine years ago due to a lack of regular riders, a fact Mayor Marty Walsh acknowledged in a press conference to announce the new service.

So this, right here? This is game time. I don’t care if you’re not in the mood to go out this Friday, you are going to get your butt on that train at 1 a.m. and ride it from one end of the green line to the other. You are going to move your study session to Park St station, and all your dates from now on will occur on the 47 bus very late at night, no excuses.

If we blow the opportunity for late night MBTA service twice in a decade, that’s on us. We can never complain about it ever again, which would be devastating because complaining is great.

And if ridership increases enough, the transit authority might consider extending the service to operate very early in the morning. If there was ever a time to get your head in the MBTA game, it would be now.

Officially, the late night service will cover Rapid Transit and Key Bus Routes on Fridays and Saturdays until 2:30 a.m., 90 minutes later than the normal kill time. The MBTA will charge the standard fare, and will operate every 15-20 minutes on average.

“We hope that people will find MBTA Late Night Service to be an affordable, convenient way to get home from both work and play late on weekends and that we will be able to bring them this service in the future as well,” said Smith.

For more details regarding late night service, visit the MBTA website.

Taylor Rapalyea

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