Late-night MBTA service will extend into June

THINKSTOCK

BOSTON (SHNS) – Late-night MBTA service that is being offered through a pilot program will extend beyond its planned March end date, running at least through June 19, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told officials Thursday.

“It doesn’t make sense to shut it down so abruptly,” Pollack said.

A decision on the service will be made in the spring as part of the MBTA’s budgetary process, Pollack said.

The $13 million, year-long pilot started in March 2014, extending service by 90 minutes on MBTA lines and 15 bus routes on Friday and Saturday nights until at least 2:30 a.m.

Transportation officials last month raised concerns about whether the state could afford to continue running the service.

Late-night rides cost the T a $7.68-per-passenger subsidy, higher than the $2.74 subsidy on bus riders and 84-cent subsidy on subway rides.

Asked Thursday morning if he plans to keep late-night MBTA service, Gov. Charlie Baker said, “We’re going to continue to review the preliminary information that’s come in on that. And we’ll probably have a lot more to say about that when we get to the end of the fiscal year. Because that was an experiment and we’ve learned a lot from it so far, and we’ll learn more, I’m sure, in the months ahead.”

As MassDOT considers whether and how to continue the service it will accept public comments through March 11.

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