As a collection of travelers waited for the last trains to depart South Station, a small group of homeless people began setting up blankets, planning to stay through the storm.
Transit Police inside the train station said shuttles were available to transport people to the Pine Street Inn on Harrison Avenue. But a group of about five said they did not want to go.
Jack Taylor, 58, and his girlfriend Christine, 38, said they would prefer to stay outside than to go to the shelter.
“I have blankets, I have comforters, I’d rather stay outside,” Taylor said. “I’m afraid we’ll get separated at the shelter. I want to make sure my girl is OK.”
Initially, Transit Police said the group would not be permitted to stay in the station, but after the homeless refused to go, authorities decided to let the small group stay.
A 65-year-old man, who did not provide his name, said the shelters tend to be too busy and crowded during storms.
“That’s not the kind of crowd I want to stay with,” he said. “It’s too chaotic. I’ve slept in the snow before and I can do it again.”
He, too, said he would rather stay outside — if he had to.
After speaking with the group, Transit Police Lieutenant Christopher Maynard said the department had amended its decision. Those without shelter would be permitted to stay in the station.
“If that’s what they want to do, we’ll let them,” he said. “We just want to make sure everyone is safe.”
Maynard said about 20 people had been shuttled from South Station to the shelter at 8 p.m.