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Proposal To Expand Late Night Weekend Hours On T

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BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a plan out there to keep T service running longer on Friday and Saturday nights, but the MBTA doesn’t think it will happen.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Steven reports

The collaboration between State Rep. Sean Garballey and the Restaurant Business Alliance is aimed at keeping people in town a little longer, so they can spend money and help the economy.

Under the proposal, the T would run its service an hour longer with the last train at 2 a.m., when most bars close.

Fares would likely increase after 11 p.m. to offset the cost of running the system with fewer customers.

Sponsors say a trial period sometime in 2012 would help to determine the proper amount.

However, it’s not clear how far the proposal will go.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told WBZ-TV they are not considering it.

“The MBTA appreciates the suggestion, but the T simply can’t afford to operate trains for longer periods of time right now. It’s important to note that the former Night Owl service, which ran until 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays, was very expensive to operate and did not attract nearly enough ridership to support it,” Pesaturo said in an email.

“The MBTA is also concerned about shortening the time period for MBTA crews to perform critical track and signal maintenance work during the overnight hours. The MBTA is always open to suggestions aimed at improving public transit, but with a projected budget deficit of $161 million next year, the T is not in a position to add more service at this time.”

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