Dear MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board Members,
My name is Corey Dinopoulos, and I’m a proud community organizer, a 12-year resident of Boston, and most recently, a candidate for District 2 City Council. I wanted to take a moment to voice my support for the early morning and night bus pilot program presented by TransitMatters. I support this innovative proposal for a number of reasons—chief among them, my belief that public transportation responsive to the ever-changing needs of its riders can and should be a great equalizer, bridging the divide between Old Boston and New, across all neighborhoods and economic backgrounds.
The elimination of late-night T service last year dealt a devastating and disproportionate blow to those who depend on public transportation the most. We cannot afford to turn our backs on these hardworking people in the construction, foodservice, and healthcare industries. I applaud TransitMatters for keeping these workers of Greater Boston in mind, and using a pin-pointed, data-driven approach to deliver much-needed bus service between 1 and 5 a.m., along routes of greatest demand and impact.
We live in a time of unprecedented growth here in Boston. In the last decade, half of all new development in the city has happened in District 2, which includes Bay Village, Chinatown, Downtown, South Boston, and the South End. The Overnight Service pilot not only accounts for current areas of high growth, but would best prepare the MBTA to meet the demands of the future. For example, District 2 is home to approximately 45 hotels, all with occupancy rates hovering around 81%. This vibrant hospitality industry of ours will require a sizeable workforce—and those workers will need transit options available after midnight.
If we are to ensure that no resident is left behind in this boom, we’ll need safe, affordable, and convenient transportation—whether it’s a broker at 2 p.m. or a bartender at 2 a.m.—I believe the Overnight Service pilot is the best way to achieve this transit equity, and I urge you to approve it.