Uber offers to help MBTA transition from late-night service

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BOSTON >> Uber plans to offer its pool car service at reduced fares on early-morning weekend hours to help people "transition" out of extended hours MBTA weekend service set to end March 19.

Chris Taylor, general manager of Uber in Boston, announced the temporary discounted service at a meeting of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday afternoon.

The control board recently voted to end the late-night T service.

"We want to make that transition a little bit easier," Taylor said.

Taylor said Uber's pool service, where different riders share the same car, would be available for a flat rate of $5 along subway and trolley lines. The discount will be available from 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. from March 19 through April 9.

Lawmakers on Friday unveiled a bill (H 4049) to regulate Uber and other ride-hailing services. Amendments to that bill are due by 10 a.m. Wednesday for a floor debate later that afternoon.

After a Transportation Committee hearing with control board members Monday at the State House, committee co-chairman Sen. Thomas McGee of Lynn indicated he wanted a broader analysis of whether to continue services such as extended MBTA operating hours on the weekend.

"I understand where they're coming from but I think the discussion needs to be broader than that," McGee told the News Service. He said, "Late-night service is an example... 'Oh we're going to eliminate the service because it's fiscally responsible to do.' The question is let's get our hands around all of the fiscal issues and then where do we go from here?"

According to Boston.com, the Federal Transit Administration said the MBTA failed to conduct a civil rights analysis before deciding to eliminate the late-night service.


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