By John Lynds
Many of his constituents rely on the MBTA’s late night service to go back and forth to overnight shifts in Boston so it comes as no surprise that City Councilor Sal LaMattina is fighting to keep this service intact.
In a letter to MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, LaMattina said the recent proposal to cut late night T service has him very concerned.
LaMattina said there is a huge section of Eastie’s population that work in Boston’s top restaurants and hotels as cooks, cleaners, waiters that need late night service in order to get to and from Eastie.
“Many of my constituents in East Boston work at several of the bars, restaurants and hotels in the city and have no other modes of transportation to get back to the neighborhood other than the Blue Line,” said LaMattina. “Cutting this service will create an undue burden on them, especially since there are constant overnight closures of the harbor tunnels and many taxis are not willing to drive to East Boston late at night, so I do not think that it makes sense at this time.”
LaMattina urged Secretary Pollack to reconsider this proposal.
“It would severely impact many neighborhoods, particularly my neighborhood of East Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods of Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea,” he said.
LaMattina argued that Boston is also experiencing a huge economic and development boom. Continuing the late night service will help Boston to compete with other world class cities like New York and make Boston both a desirable place to live and visit.
“By cutting service and reverting back to the previous end time of 1 a.m., I fear that there will be a lack of safe transportation back home for many of our residents who might either have been out all night or just getting out of work,” said LaMattina.
LaMattina said he also has concerns for many of the neighborhood’s disabled riders.
“The MBTA is handicap accessible but taxis and Uber are not,” said LaMattina. “Therefore, this leaves many of those who use wheelchairs in a difficult situation.”
The MBTA began holding public hearings on the issue last month. Late night service is one of the programs the T is looking to cut to reduce a projected $242 million deficit next fiscal year.