fb-pixelLet’s not miss chance to revive Night Owl - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Let’s not miss chance to revive Night Owl

The MBTA’s Night Owl, which was discontinued in 2005, took late-night riders to Cleveland Circle in summer 2002.Dominic Chavez/Globe Staff/File

The article “Walsh may spur late T hours” (Page A1, Nov. 11) was like déjà vu all over again. MASSPIRG, with strong support of our student members, has advocated for late night MBTA service, or the Night Owl, for more than 15 years. Our argument has only gotten stronger over time.

First, as reporter Martine Powers points out, improvements in technology have linked people to transit, making it easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone. Second, as our recent studies show, Americans are driving less, and young Americans have reduced their driving the most. Americans between ages 16 and 34 drove 23 percent less in 2009 than in 2001. Third, in the late 1990s, when the Night Owl was conceived, gasoline cost about a dollar per gallon. Today it costs three times that.

Mayor-elect Martin Walsh has a unique opportunity to revive this short-lived program, which was cut out of short-sightedness. We look forward to working with the mayor and others to expand this and many other facets of public transportation in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth.


Kirstie Pecci
Staff attorney