Groups ask feds to intervene after late-night T cancellation

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A complaint filed Tuesday calls on federal transportation officials to require implementation of an alternative to the late-night service scrapped by the MBTA earlier this year, alleging that the cancellation violated anti-discrimination measures.

The complaint was written by the Conservation Law Foundation, Alternatives for Community & Environment, and the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition. Rafael Mares, a transit advocate and vice president at the Conservation Law Foundation, said the groups mailed the complaint to the U.S. Department of Transportation Tuesday afternoon.

The T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board voted in February to cancel the extended service that ran until 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings, which launched in 2014 as a pilot program.

“What we’re seeking, to be clear, is not reinstatement of the late night service they previously had,” Mares said. “What we’re seeking is a less discriminatory alternative.”

The complaint alleges the service cancellation disproportionately affected low-income and minority populations, and asks that the Federal Transit Administration require implementation of mitigation measures.

In May, the T’s control board asked staff to continue working on a plan that would create an hourly bus circuit to provide service through the night.

— Written by Katie Lannan

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