After months of meetings, the MBTA ROC has submitted their official recommendation to the MBTA regarding a means to fund overnight service. Earlier this year, the committee tasked themselves with finding a way to make overnight service a reality without adding to the MBTA’s existing debt load. Their solution is to pay for overnight service using the revenue generated from a re-envisioned college student pass program. The committee’s report details similar programs throughout the nation, highlighting their feasibility, popularity, and practicality.
The MBTA ROC’s proposed program would follow in the footsteps of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) U-Pass program, where area colleges are given the opportunity to purchase unlimited-use transit passes for no less than 100% of their full-time student body. In exchange for a 100% buy-in, the MBTA would offer semester passes to participating Boston-area colleges at a mark-down greater than the current college student discount. The program would be mutually beneficial since the students would be granted free access to all MBTA subways, light-rail vehicles, and buses, while the MBTA would receive additional revenue from the increased pass sales (the CTA, for example, generated $25 million in revenue through their U-pass program last year). Furthermore, the MBTA would be required to use that additional revenue to provide overnight service, which would be a benefit to all MBTA riders.
We have provided links to our report and presentation below:
MBTA ROC U-Pass Report
MBTA ROC U-Pass Presentation