The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority will end its weekend late-night service by March 18. The board voted unanimously this Tuesday to cut back the hours by 90 minutes on weekends, according to The Boston Globe.
The last outbound train of the night, which now departs Park St. at 2:00 a.m., will leave at 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, although all late-night service will be affected by the 90 minute reduction.
The decision comes after months of deliberation about how the MBTA would attempt to cut down costs that have landed the service into deep debt. Official data from the city says that ridership during these hours has fallen from 16,000 to 13,000 in December of 2015.
Originally, the program was met with open arms as it offers individuals, especially college students, an affordable and safe way to return home during weekends.
The extended hours, however, have recently been a source of concern to the MBTA, as it had to subsidize $14 million of the annual costs during 2015, according to The Boston Globe.
Many individuals, including restaurant owners and students, voiced their opposition to ending the program because it provided an affordable means of transport in an increasingly expensive city with soaring parking rates.
“[They] have to keep the T open later to promote riding. That’s one of the mindsets we have to figure out here,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh, WCAS ’09, said to Boston.com. “Closing down the late-night service, I think, doesn’t help you long-term … we know there’s a financial issue there.”
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Senior Staff