Report: Keep Mass On Track

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Endangered Night Owl Service Indicates Threatened Regional Transportation System

Greater Boston's Night Owl service is endangered. Budget cuts and systematic under-funding of public transportation have put the Night Owl on the chopping block this spring. This report compares Greater Boston's nighttime public transportation service with that of other similar transportation systems across the country and finds that, out of eleven comparable systems, Boston is one of only two that do not offer some form of nighttime service on weeknights. And cutting current weekend Night Owl service would make Boston one of only two comparable cities that fail to provide nighttime weekend service. Of the two cities, Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA, Boston's service shuts down earlier. 

The Night Owl in Boston is like an endangered species of wildlife. Our society acts to protect endangered wildlife species because their endangerment is a symptom and a sign of larger, systematic problems that threaten whole ecosystems. As we try to create a vibrant culture and economy in Greater Boston for the 21st century, this metaphor is useful. Endangered Night Owl service is a symptom and a sign of the systematic failure to adequately invest in public transportation for the region and state, and this larger problem threatens ultimately to undermine smart development in the region.

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