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Late-night shift on MBTA goes smoothly

No arrests, lots of riders as test of service begins

Salman Chowdhury, 27, of Medford, rode the Green Line to Park Street at 2:35 a.m.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Salman Chowdhury, 27, of Medford, rode the Green Line to Park Street at 2:35 a.m.

The first night of extended weekend hours on the MBTA went smoothly, with no arrests and plenty of riders, T officials said Saturday.

MBTA general manager Beverly A. Scott hopped between stations early Saturday morning, visiting Broadway, Park Street, and Boylston, she said. Some riders recognized her and came up to give thanks.

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“Oh my God, and it was just very nice,” she said in a phone interview. “One of the customers just said it had a nice vibe.”

All subway lines and 15 popular bus routes ran until 3 a.m.

Exact ridership numbers will not be available until Sunday, Scott said, but she saw plenty of people.

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“We had fairly full trains that came through,” she said. The Green Line in particular was “just pumping.”

MBTA officials will analyze ridership numbers to find the busiest stations and routes, Scott said. She is hoping the service develops “organically” as more riders and businesses adapt to later hours, she said.

“People who now may not be staying open later, I’m sure, will be moving to stay open later. And when they open later, I’m sure the people will gravitate toward” late night service, Scott said.

Transit Police did not make any arrests, said Joe Pesaturo, a T spokesman.

The MBTA briefly experimented with late-night service in 2001, running the Night Owl bus service along T routes. The T’s board of directors canceled the program after four years, citing high costs and relatively low ridership.

At a promotional event earlier this month, public officials encouraged riders who want late night T service to “use it or lose it.”

Early Saturday morning, at least, riders were enthusiastic.

“At 2:30 a.m., I rode a Green Line train on which people were chanting ‘M-B-T-A,’ ” Pesaturo said in an e-mail.

Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@ globe.com.
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