Boston 2013 in Review: Top MBTA stories of 2013

The MBTA will test late-night weekend service in 2014. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro.
The MBTA will test late-night weekend service in 2014. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro.

It’s been a big year for the MBTA. Here is a look at some of the biggest stories to come out of Boston’s public transit system.

MBTA decides to launch late-night service on weekends

Earlier this month, Gov. Deval Patrick announced that as early as March, all subway trains and the 15 most popular bus routes will run until 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, including the Silver Line.

T service currently ends at 1 a.m., an hour that late-night service advocates found insufficient for the growing metropolis.

“A vibrant economy demands a public transit system that caters to the residents, students and tourists it serves,” Patrick said. “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.”

The one-year pilot program will cost an estimated $20 million, and will be funded by the state and subsidized by financial sponsorships from The Boston Globe and other business groups.

MBTA plans a $1 cut in fare for The Ride

Transportation officials plan to reduce the cost to ride the MBTA’s para transit system by one dollar – cutting fare from $4 to $3.

The decision, which was announced in November, comes after critics have slammed the T for doubling the fare in July 2012.

MBTA General Manager Beverly A. Scott said the reason for the reduction was prompted by ridership data and testimony that showed the fare increase had had a deep impact on the Boston-area’s disabled community.

Ridership decreased by nearly 19 recent since the new fare began.

MBTA ridership soars to new records

In October, MBTA ridership increased by nearly 3 percent over October 2012, totaling 36.228 million passenger trips, T officials said today, citing the Red Sox World Series title as a likely factor in the surge.

Average daily ridership for October increased by 4.3 percent over the same month last year, and totaled 1.382 million passenger trips per weekday.

As with the month overall, T officials said October had the highest weekday ridership recorded since the MBTA was created in 1964.

CapeFlyer launches, connects Boston to Cape Cod

After a successful summer run, transportation officials in October announced that Seasonal weekend rail service between Boston and Hyannis will be offered annually.

The state is also looking into the feasibility of offering year-round service.

MassDOT will also add a Wareham stop on the line, which will open when service resumes Memorial Day weekend, transportation officials said. This year, CapeFlyer ridership through Columbus Day weekend was 16,586. Fare revenue from the line totaled more than $290,000.

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


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