After a series of public meetings, the authority’s Fiscal and Management Control Board voted on Monday to drop the service as of March 18 for an estimated savings of $9 million next year.
In anticipation of the move, which had been hinted for months, Bridj launched a website to make the case for providing late-night service under contract to the MBTA. “The closure is a step backwards for the residents, students, visitors, and businesses who make Late Night a core part of their lives,” the website reads. “If that cut happens, we’re ready to help.”
It is not yet known whether the MBTA wants to privatize late-night weekend service. The authority issued a request for information a year ago, but no decision has been made.
One challenge would be fare collection; a private company like Bridj is not set up to accept transit passes. “The fare collection equipment we currently use on buses, for example, is very expensive to install,” said MassDOT secretary Stephanie Pollack. “We’d have to figure out either a technological fix, or there would have to be a decision made that your T pass is not in fact going to be a form of payment.”
Bridj recently teamed up with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to provide shuttle service in selected neighborhoods. Link to full story in Boston.com.
Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman