Slashing late night and weekend T service: ‘It’s not a good idea’

Photo Credit:
There’s a chance the commuter rail will stop running on weekends. Photo Credit:

Just as conversations heat up about keeping the T open later, the MBTA has to air out the idea of closing earlier on weekdays, and all together on weekends, to help close a $120 million budget gap.

So it may come as no surprise that the idea doesn’t sit well with local groups who want more access to the struggling transit agency.

“Boston is a great place to live and move to and that’s partly because of the T,” said Kristina Egan, coalition director for Transportation for Massachusetts, a group that wants safe, convenient, and affordable transportation. “If we are shrinking hours in the system it’s going to be harder to keep the students here after graduation. It’s not a good idea. We need more transit service, not less.”

Transportation officials this week discussed the possibility of eliminating bus routes, cancelling weekend T service or weekday service after 11 p.m., and doing away with commuter rail service on the weekends, none of which were welcome ideas among the city’s T riders.

The MBTA’s proposals came just weeks after a pair of Suffolk University students launched Boston Stay Up, a grassroots social media push for later T service, seven days a week. It also came on the heels of a survey put out by the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee asking riders whether they’d support “after hours” T service.

“Cutting weekend service would immensely harm the city’s hospitality and tourist industry. They can’t get to Boston’s restaurants or museums. That would be such a turn off for so many people. I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said 20-year-old Funsho Owojori, co-founder of Boston Stay Up.

Her counterpart Joel Edwards pointed to the potential loss of revenue of shutting down weekend service, particularly on the commuter rail.

“So much of the city’s tourists come from around the state on day trips. We’d lose tourist dollars,” he said.

While no weekend service would be a nearly impossible pill to swallow, Egan said closing down service earlier on business days would also have a massive effect on the city’s workers.

“That means people can’t get to their second shifts or overnight shifts. People need the T all ties of day. It would be an economic blow to Boston if we don’t keep the hours we already have, or expand them.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.


City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.


Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.


Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."