Federal Complaint Filed Over Cancellation of Late-Night MBTA Service

Advocates say its termination was a civil rights violation.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

Advocacy groups have filed a federal complaint over the end of the MBTA’s late-night service, alleging its termination constitutes a civil rights violation.

The complaint, filed by the vice president at the Conservation Law Foundation, claims the MBTA’s fiscal control board did not properly anticipate the impact on low-income and minority riders when it voted 4-0, without discussion, to pull the plug on the costly service in March, citing low ridership.

“We’re not asking for the original late-night service to be reinstated. We’re asking for the T to come up with something else, and there are already a number of proposals already on the table,” Conservation Law Foundation attorney Rafael Mares told WBUR.

MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said the Federal Transit Administration told the transportation authority that its analysis was “properly documented and has met their requirements.”

The MBTA has considered replacing late-night trains with an all-night, hourly bus circuit centered in Copley Square and comprised of eight bus routes operated by a private vendor, the State House News Service reported in May.