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nowyano

Cause or Effect:

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Most of Boston, especially in Downtown closes at 8 or 9 pm. Granted bars are open in the neighborhoods, Brookline, Cambridge and even Somerville, until 2am, but overall the city is pretty much dead after 10:00 pm. Clubs close and huge amounts of people are left outside of these establishments drunk, running around, peeing in the Commons, or just unable to get home. If you are in the city at 2am you are either a student or someone who lives in the neighborhoods (keep in mind Boston propers population is only 500,000 but the direct Metro area is closer to 4 million, the expanded Metro is around 7 million), or someone with a huge amount of money to spend on a cab ride home.

The MBTA closes at 1:00 am (12:50am to be exact). On top of people unable to get into the city to party, hospital night workers and other blue collar jobs can't get back home after their work ends around 1:00 or so. The Night Owl service was a complete disaster with only 1,000-2,000 people using it on the busiest weekends, however they phased out stops. The service was more ureliable than a lot of the normal busses, and many of the busses either did not show up to their predetermined stations, or the predetermined station (ie Lechmere) were moved to unnoticible locations for Night Owl Services.

Now I know that in the city (maybe in Cambridge, Brookline, Quincy and Somerville) liquor licenses say no booze after 2am, but I believe this is to stop people from driving home drunk, running around, peeing in the Commons (see where I'm going with this), but it still happens because of a lack of late night MBTA service. So the question I have is the lack of longer MBTA hours (not even 24 hours but maybe 5:00am - 2:30 am, or 3am - 1:00am) the cause or the effect of the craptacular Boston night scene?

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A friend of mine several times has been been out late, and had to walk 1-2 miles home from bars or parties or wherever, because the MBTA had shut down by that point. I say on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, keep at the very least the Green Line open until 2:30 or 3 am. They do this in DC, where the weekends are open later than the other days. But I also think it opens later on the weekends too, as a trade off.

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That makes sense.... they should run the train later on weekend nights....I'm not sure how well opening later in the morning would work, since you have people working at places like the airport, UPS, hospitals, etc. that have regularly early hours even on weekends.

I don't think cabs are that expensive, no more than 2 drinks at the bar, but I guess it depends where you live.

I think in general, each neighborhood should provide a variety of nightime options, and going out to a place like Fenway or Downtown or Harvard Square shouldn't be the norm, so taking a cab when you do go shouldn't be a huge burden.

In Charlotte, they have party busses called "Ragin Uptown" which are converted school buses. It makes several stops near the colleges to pick up kids, takes them downtown stopping off at several different bar zones, and then makes a couple of runs at like 12, 1, and 2 to take them back. It's about $5-$10 for the round-trip, and they are always packed with drunk college kids.

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One bar in the Danbury CT area was paying $400 for a few hours to rent a coach bus, take kids from the college campus directly to their bar and back. Due to low ridership and not making any money off it, they dropped it. I thought it was a good idea, especially since this bar was three miles past the city line and driving down I-84 for 7-8 miles sucked.

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I think part of the issue is that the city does not want to do anything that is going to encourage more bar and club hopping amongst the college crowds. Also, during the middle of the winter, you would have to be nuts to be awalking around downtown in the wee hours of the morning - it's too dang cold!

Personally, I would love to see them leave the Red line and the Green line C and D lines open all night. I think that they would actually generate enough traffic to make it useful, although hardly profitable. unfortunately it is also a very easy thing to cut when you need the extra money. I don't think it is an absolute disaster, though - most of those out drinking that late I think should be taking cabs anyway, and those hours would provide some oportune time for claening and maintenance, if they really bothered to do much of either.

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The tradeoff for later service would be much more frequent shutdowns of the mainlines.

Cities like New York can pull off 24/7 service because they have tons of express lines and such to allow for sections to be closed off for maintenance. Boston's subway system has pretty much zero built-in redundancy. Save for a few remnants of older configurations in the central subway, you've got one track in each direction on each line. That's it.

On top of that, staffing levels would have to be adjusted and you would be looking at serious overtime for MBTA staff - overtime that wouldn't be covered by the added revenue.

Nobody would be willing to put literally billions into upgrading the lines and millions more into overtime to allow more drunks to stay out later and drink even more.

It's not just a matter of running the trains later, and people need to realize that when they constantly call for later service.

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I was listening to the radio earlier and someone made the point that "we just built a huge convention center [that is hardly used] and we are having a difficult time attracting companies to come and use it".

This is not an MBTA problem (though the location of the Convention Center is not a great location...yet), I think this may have to do a little bit with the night scene. Conventions that people really want to go to are in cities like New York, LA, Chicago and Vegas, where the night scenes are much better than Boston's own.

I remember a Microsoft and E-Bay convention in the new center and the WNBA draft, but not anything else of any importance. I drive by it on my way to work most mornings and 20 out of 30 days a months there is nothing going on, or being advertised other than people striking...

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