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Later trains for Night Owls? Nope

I wanted to know whether there were any plans to extend the T’s hours in the city past the 12:30 a.m. time that is already in effect.

I wanted to know whether there were any plans to extend the T’s hours in the city past the 12:30 a.m. time that is already in effect. I don’t take the T on the weekends at night because I know the trains stop at 12:30, which seems a little bit early. –John

Dear John: Please know that between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. is when MBTA crews perform necessary maintenance work on the tracks, stations and vehicles. We have a four-hour window of opportunity to address required maintenance on our subway lines to ensure service resumes each morning for the thousands of customers who depend on the T.

Please know that while extending subway service past 12:30 a.m. is not an option, the MBTA in 2001 put careful thought into accommodating late-night travelers using buses and initiated a Night Owl service pilot program comprised of five local bus routes and nine rail buses that paralleled subway lines to transport customers through 2:30 a.m. Unfortunately, ridership was minimal and service was discontinued because revenue from low ridership did not cover the annual cost.

I live in Beverly and park at the Montserrat station in the morning as I take the commuter rail to Boston. The parking cost is $4 a day. I have had an issue, five times to be exact, that I arrive at the station and do not have $1 bills, so I put a $5 bill in my slot. Every time I do this, I receive a parking ticket stating I never paid. I can only come to one conclusion: The person in charge of collecting the fares is pocketing my $5 bills. Any help would be great as I have now paid $25 in parking tickets over the last three months. –Ricky L. Wolff

Dear Mr. Wolff: The facility manager of LAZ Parking explained that a $5 bill can be mistaken for a $1 bill by the way it is folded, and bills can get stuck when the metal pusher attached to the boxes is misused. These occurrences unfortunately will show nonpayment, and a ticket will be issued to the customer. Regarding your concern with theft, the boxes have a plexiglass covering preventing the collector from accessing the fares.

Lastly, you may be interested in our cashless system for parking-lot payments that allows daily commuters to use their mobile phones and an online account to pay for parking. And beginning in February, the MBTA will offer a Web-based monthly parking pass at a $10 savings to customers.

–Send your questions for MBTA General Manager Rich Davey to letters@metro.us.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.

 
 
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