By Katie Brace

BOSTON (CBS) – MBTA riders are celebrating a change starting this weekend – trains will now run two hours later.

Instead of closing down at 1 a.m., service will run until 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings.

If this pilot test of the extended service is successful, it may be continued.

“I’ll take advantage of it,” said Anthony Lopes, who noted that it saves money over taking a taxi and is safer than walking.

Patronizing businesses is one reason the MBTA extended the hours.

Friday night MBTA officials celebrated the start of the program at a bar.

“I think this is going to be a smashing success,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. “It’s going to be a success for our community, the economy, and it’s just going to be more fun.”

The MBTA tried extended service back in 2001. After several years, they put the brakes on the program because of low ridership.

Leaders say this time the community is different with more tech folks and younger riders.

The extended service applies to the subway and 15 key bus routes.

The T says there was a push from businesses, patrons and late-shift workers.

This pilot program is for one year. The MBTA is paying for the extended service with help from money from area businesses through sponsorships.



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