After years of frustrating college students into cabs or an early return from nights out in Boston, the MBTA will run all of its subway trains and most popular bus routes until 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays beginning next spring, the Boston Globe reported on Monday.
The pilot program will last for at least a year, the Globe reported. Currently, MBTA service ends at 1 a.m., and, Transportation Secretary Richard Davey told the Globe that under the new plan, the last train would leave Boston, on weekends, at around 2:30 a.m.
The program is expected to appeal to the thousands of college and university students who call Boston and its suburbs home, but who have complained about the MBTA’s weekend hours.
“That’s going to change Boston,” Eduardo S. Cabral ’16 said of the plan. “As a student, it will be way easier to enjoy the nightlife in Boston…. I can definitely see myself going into Boston for things on the weekend now.”
The program is also aimed at Boston’s growing technology sector, according to Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78.
“This is about how we make the system modern for the kind of economic growth we have been experiencing and will be experiencing,” Patrick told the Globe. “The folks who work in the innovation sector—they live differently.”
Extending hours for the MBTA’s subways was a popular issue among students and young Bostonians in the city’s recent mayoral race. Patrick told the Globe that the pilot program will be funded using money from corporate partners and other modifications to the state’s budget.
Even though the program is not set to launch until next spring, students are already anticipating the benefits of the change.
"Ever since they shut down the Harvard Square movie theater, you couldn't go to midnight showings because you'd go to Park Street and be stranded there,” said Eric A. Bersin ’14. “I will have to take advantage of that.”
—Staff writer Amy L. Weiss-Meyer contributed to the reporting of this story
—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MattClarida.