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Starts & Stops

MBTA no longer gives refunds for service

Commuters waited for a train at Sullivan Square station.Steve Annear/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Can you get reimbursed for a particularly hellish T ride?

Susan Pearson of Charlestown found out last week. Pearson was one of about 50 passengers who were stranded on a Red Line train for about two hours Monday evening, when the third rail lost power between Quincy and Braintree.

When she called the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to complain and request reimbursement, a customer service representative said the MBTA couldn’t do anything for her.

“It’s amazing that they don’t even give you a five dollar CharlieCard,” she said.

Joe Pesaturo, a T spokesman, said the agency used to offer free rides for bad service, but stopped doing so about five years ago because of budgetary restrictions.


“There were many fraudulent claims,” Pesaturo said in an e-mail. “The process of verifying the claims was a costly and time-consuming strain on our limited resources.”

That answer doesn’t sit well with Pearson — and probably the thousands of others who had difficult rides throughout a week of extended MBTA troubles because of the snow.

“It makes you feel insulted and that your time is not valuable,” she said. “It’s just awful.”

Green Line leads system in number of late-night riders

When the T announced it will extend its test run in late-night service until June 19, the agency also released more information on which lines attracted the most riders.

The data matter because the agency could eventually choose to keep only certain popular routes running past 12:30 a.m. to deal more efficiently with the costs of extending service by 90 minutes every Friday and Saturday.

T officials have pointed out that the program is expensive, requiring the agency to pay a $7.68 subsidy per passenger, compared with the 84 cent subsidy per passenger for subway riders during regular hours. But Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack has said the agency could make changes to the routes to help bring the cost down.


According to the T's data, the Green Line would be a strong front-runner to stay open: The line, which runs by a number of universities, captured the most rides with 33 percent. The Red Line came in second place with 23 percent. Another 20 percent used the Orange Line, 14 percent took one of 15 bus routes, 8 percent rode the Blue Line, and 2 percent used the Silver Line.

For subway lines, Park Street was the busiest station during the weekend, then State Street. Haymarket, Harvard, and Kenmore followed. Route 66 was the busiest bus line, followed by Routes 1, 57, 28, and 111.

The T will also look closely at the time people start using the service. The data showed that late-night use declined every 15 minutes after midnight, except between 1:30 and 2 a.m., which is consistent with the closing of area bars and restaurants.

The T is scheduled to release more figures on the ridership, cost, and revenue at a Feb. 11 meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board of directors.

Nicole Dungca can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ndungca.