MBTA Board Kills Late-Night Service

That was fun, being a real city for a little while.
Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

It’s the end of the line for late-night T service.

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board voted 4-0 Monday to pull the plug on the costly service effective March 18. There was no discussion on the matter, and member Brian Lang was absent.

The service had been speculated as a potential target for budget cuts, carrying an expected savings of between $10 million and $14.8 million, to shore up the T’s $242 million budget gap.

“If we were in a different financial situation, this would be a very different conversation,” board member Monica Tibbits-Nutt told Boston.com in December. “I don’t like the idea of having to cut this service…But I think that with the financial situation we’re in, we need to focus on the core services we need to provide for the most number of people.”

The MBTA rolled out late-night service on March 28, 2014, and provided roughly 13,000 trips per weekend night, according to the MBTA. Subway hours extended until 2 a.m., past the usual 12:30 a.m, on Friday and Saturday nights.

“A vibrant economy demands a public transit system that caters to the residents, students and tourists it serves,” said then Gov. Deval Patrick in 2013. “Extending service on weekend evenings will allow the public to enjoy the many attractions and restaurants the region has to offer and give workers a more cost-effective option for getting home late at night.”

Back to being small, boring, bumpkin Boston. And as Tim Logan and Nicole Dungca of the Globe note, late-night service is poised to go out with a bang.

Meanwhile, Government Center station is scheduled to reopen after a two-year renovation on March 26.