Late night service on the MBTA starts the weekend of March 28. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Starting this weekend you can stay for overtime or extra innings, not miss your favorite band's encore, actually close down a bar and still make your way home on the MBTA.
Beginning this Friday night and into early Saturday morning, the MBTA will extend its hours of service by about 90 minutes for subway lines and key bus routes. The last subway trains will depart downtown stations at about 2:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays under a new late night weekend pilot program announced last year. On weekdays the last train leaves downtown stations at 1 a.m.
"This extended service will provide a transit alternative for many patrons and employees of late-night businesses, including those in the restaurant, entertainment, and hospitality sectors," the MBTA said.
As he waited for a Green Line train at the Harvard Avenue station in Allston on a cold morning this week, D.J. Fajana said he was excited about the options the late night service gives him.
"I'm very excited about them. It means I can go off campus and come back at a later time. It means it's no longer necessary to stay over a friend's place and … not have to take a ridiculously expensive cab late at night," said the Boston College student. "Just a whole world of opportunity opened up by the T running later. It's a great convenience."
The pilot program is expected to last a year.
In an effort to help cover the cost of the expanded service, the MBTA launched a sponsorship program. The sponsors of the late-night service include The Boston Globe, the Red Sox, Dunkin' Donuts, Suffolk Construction and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
Between 2001 and 2005 the T offered Night Owl bus service, but that was ended because of low ridership and increasing costs.
The expanded MBTA service will take place early Saturday and Sunday mornings and will run on a frequency of about every 15 to 20 minutes.
The bus routes that will also run until about 2:30 a.m. are: Silver Line routes, except SL2; 1; 15; 22; 23; 28; 32; 39; 57; 66; 71; 73; 77; 111 and 116/117.
The RIDE will also operate to areas within three-quarters of a mile of all late night services.
Schedules will appear on phone apps and Google Transit, the T said. Also, real-time information for buses will be available. Real-time information on the subway lines, including station countdown signs, may not work after 2 a.m. due to technical limitations, the T said.