Overnight Transit Service


This endorsement page is archived from our original efforts to bring overnight transit service to metro Boston. Spoiler alert: We were successful! We thank all of you for your support over the past couple years.

For information on the MBTA Late Night & Early Morning bus service that began on September 2, 2018, please visit:



Overnight bus service fills the transit gap in service to provide job access to late and early shift workers. Many are transit dependent.

Boston is a world-class city that never stops working; neither should its transit network.



2017 October 31 — The FMCB yesterday agreed to advance the Overnight Transit Service pilot program sponsored by TransitMatters, Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Cambridge and Somerville. The service, called NightBus, is structured to provide transit service to the nearly 50 thousand workers who leave jobs between 1am and 4 am.

The FMCB  decided to delay final  approval of the pilot to determine how to implement Nightbus in the most cost-effective manner.

The options that will be considered include:

  • Private Operators servicing the route via a RFP.

  • Utilizing MassPort "Sunrise Service & Longwood Medical Area shuttles to service the routes in the early morning hours.

  • Seeing if private operators could utilize shorter buses to reduce the cost of operation.

  • Working with Carmen's Union to utilize part time employees to service the route at a reduced cost.

The Chair of the FMCB also set a target date of July 2018 (FY19) for it to be implemented.

TransitMatters is committed to seeing NightBus through to implementation. Nightbus is on the Horizon!


2017 October 30 — The FMCB will vote on the overnight portion of NightBus! We need you to speak out in support! Endorse the Project below, ask your elected officials to speak at the meeting in support, speak in support at the meeting and watch the livestream!

2017 July 31 — The FMCB saw a presentation on the pilot proposal sponsored by the Cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville and Transitmatters. During the Meeting the Board decided to split our pilot proposal into two alternatives, one for peak overnight service and one for early morning service. Our Pilot Proposal along with Data compiled by the MBTA demonstrated a clear demand for overnight service.  Earlier this year the MBTA put out a RFI for overnight service, in which they received no suitable responses.  MBTA staff has asked the board to decide on the next steps for overnight service, either a relaxed RFP for private operators or an MBTA run service.  The Board also heard public comment and statements of support from:

While we knew to expect no final resolution from the meeting today we do expect a vote on early morning service and further clarification on peak overnight service at the August 14th FMCB meeting.  Please support the proposal by attending the meeting on August 14th 2017, asking your government officials to publicly support overnight service,  writing a letter of support and submitting it to the FMCB. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the MBTA to advocate for equitable, reliable, overnight transit for all of us.

Read our Statement to the FMCB

See the Presentation


NightBus Timeline

  • October 30 2017 - The FMCB will vote on the overnight portion of the NightBus Proposal
  • August 14 2017 - The FMCB approves the extending early morning bus routes as a portion of NightBus!
  • July 31 2017 — The FMCB is shown the pilot proposal sponsored by the Cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville and Transitmatters. 
  • September 2016 — MBTA FMCB directed staff to survey for demand/interest in overnight transit service
  • October 2016 — We met regularly with MBTA, City of Boston, City of Cambridge staff to draft the survey questions
  • Nov-Dec 2016 — MBTA, City of Boston, City of Cambridge, and TransitMatters volunteers distributed and shared the survey; City of Boston and Cambridge also worked to survey employers and collect other sources of information about existing overnight travel in the region
  • January 2017 — MBTA data team processed survey results and data from other sources to paint a picture of overnight travel needs
  • Late February 2017 — MBTA adopted a transit pilot proposal policy. Survey results and data were presented to the MBTA FMCB.
  • March - July 2017 — We worked regularly with the MBTA and the cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville to draft a pilot proposal for Overnight Service.
  • July 31st, 2017 — The Cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, and Transitmatters present our pilot proposal to the MBTA FMCB

MBTA staff presented an analysis of the overnight service demand survey and additional data on Monday, 06th February 2017.

Watch the board discussion

MBTA staff presented our plan to the Fiscal Management and Control Board on Monday, 26th September 2016.

Watch the public comments

At the FMCB Meeting, some of our local and state reps, our allies, and our neighbours spoke in support of our plan.

Watch the board discussion

The MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board hear a presentation and discuss the future of our plan.

Read our Statement on NightBus

Our thoughts on the progress made in the FMCB meeting.


News Coverage

T details Foxborough, overnight pilots
Natasha Ishak | Commonwealth Magazine

Could the MBTA run overnight bus routes? Some advocates say yes.
Nicole Dungca | Boston Globe

Hey, MBTA: take this hint on overnight service
Dante Ramos | Boston Globe

Advocates push T to restore late-night service
Jack Sullivan | Commonwealth Magazine

MBTA Leadership Eyes Collaboration with Boston on Night Bus
Michael Norton | State House News Service | WGBH

Late-Night on the MBTA Is Dead. Can NightBus Resurrect It?
Spencer Buell | Boston Magazine

MBTA dithering on late night service
Matthew Robare | Urban Liberty

The MBTA Wants to Know if You Want Late-Night Bus Service
Spencer Buell | Boston Magazine

MBTA Survey to Measure Demand for Regional Overnight Bus Service
MBTA Press Release

MBTA survey aims to clarify demand for late night bus service
WFXT Fox 25 Boston

Rider Survey Eyes Overnight Service
Chris Lovett | Boston News Network

What is NightBus?


When we saw the writing on the wall for Late Night service, we started working on a way to make overnight transit service a reality. In March of this year, we announced our vision of overnight bus service (more details here - our Commonwealth Magazine article here).

Shortly after, the MBTA FMCB reviewed our proposal. We have been working with the T ever since on what service would look like and more accurate cost estimates. The numbers we arrived at are in the ballpark of our estimates of how much it costs the T to shut down every night (the T has contested our estimate and Board Member Jim Aloisi responded).

Our latest plan establishes a network of buses that form a backbone of transit for our service industry workers and increasing 'round the clock activity in Greater Boston.

Designed for Low-Income Workers

  • Primary users: airport, hospital, office, restaurant customers & employees
  • All shifts accessible; many 5AM shifts
  • Service within 1 mile of most dense areas

Useful, Easy to Operate, Cost Effective

  • Meaningful service at low cost
  • Efficient  coverage with only 10-15 buses
  • Timed connections at Copley Sq
  • Complements existing early bird trips

Measurable & Expandable

  • Phased service plan for future growth (ex. Lynn, Quincy)
  • Easy to add routes, increase frequency
  • Peer cities run every 30 minutes all night

 Concept Route Map

The Stats


Daily: 500-1,000* Annual: ~420,000


$3.5M per year According to MBTA Service Planning


  • FMCB Approval
  • Funding
  • Implementation

📄 Download a PDF flyer of this information here


Please show your support for overnight bus by endorsing our plan below!

Who's endorsing

Ricky Johnson
John Donnellan
David Senatillaka City of Malden
Susan Ringler
John Pelletier
Sandra Larson
Scott Mullen LimeBike
Brian coppola
Jeff Byrnes
Korina Figueroa
Annie Tuan
Pawel Latawiec
Connor Ebsary
Kyle Schroeckenthaler
Jordan Isler
Jordan Isler
Charles Denison
Paul Kafasis
Blake Elias
James F White
Brian coppola
Sebastian Garza
Scott Mullen

92 endorsements

Will you endorse?

  • 7️⃣ Main St | Flushing Lcl
    published this page 2018-09-08 15:18:02 -0400
  • Ricky Johnson
    endorsed 2017-11-03 21:00:57 -0400
  • John Donnellan
    endorsed 2017-10-30 12:37:10 -0400
  • Dave Sena
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-30 11:12:33 -0400
    I believe #Boston deserves #BosNightBus! I hope you do, too!
  • David Senatillaka
    City of Malden endorsed 2017-10-30 11:12:01 -0400
    The City of Malden strongly supports additional public transit service and supports continuous overnight transit service that will connect employees to jobs, students to educational and training opportunities and will provide a safer, greener and more equitable society for all.
  • Susan Ringler
    endorsed 2017-10-30 11:07:35 -0400
    Board Member GreenCambridge, Member 350MA Transportation Working Group. Night bus is important for social and economic justice and also as a response to climate change. More public transit reduces carbon emissions from the transportation sector.
  • John Pelletier
    endorsed 2017-10-30 10:24:21 -0400
  • Sandra Larson
    endorsed 2017-10-30 09:00:43 -0400
    I support all-night bus service , an essential part of keeping Boston’s economy working for all. From airport, medical, and hospitality workers to people attending late-night events, many people need and/or want greater access to public transportation options around the clock. Please act to make this happen.
  • Bike Talk
    @BikeTalk881 tweeted link to this page. 2017-10-30 00:19:46 -0400
  • Scott Mullen
    LimeBike endorsed 2017-10-30 00:18:47 -0400
  • Brian coppola
    endorsed 2017-10-29 17:50:16 -0400
    Overnight bus service may just Help drunk and impaired drivers get off the road. The blind date in the Boston area just might be able to participate in grave yard shift employment opportunities and also get to emergency medical facilities when an ambulance is not required, such as emergencies with the eyes and the ears..



  • Brian coppola
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-10-29 17:49:27 -0400
    I believe #Boston deserves #BosNightBus! I hope you do, too!
  • Jeff Byrnes
    endorsed 2017-10-27 15:22:57 -0400
  • Korina Figueroa
    endorsed 2017-10-27 11:35:59 -0400
  • Annie Tuan
    endorsed 2017-10-27 09:47:23 -0400
  • Pawel Latawiec
    endorsed 2017-10-27 09:21:23 -0400
  • Connor Ebsary
    endorsed 2017-10-27 08:25:56 -0400
  • KyleSchroeckenthaler
    @schroeck_k tweeted link to this page. 2017-08-07 09:45:32 -0400
  • Kyle Schroeckenthaler
    endorsed 2017-08-07 09:45:18 -0400
  • Jordan Isler
    endorsed 2017-08-07 08:27:30 -0400
  • Jordan Isler
    endorsed 2017-08-07 08:27:30 -0400
  • Charles Denison
    endorsed 2017-08-03 00:19:21 -0400
  • Paul Kafasis
    endorsed 2017-08-02 23:41:42 -0400
    Overnight service is an important part of growth in Boston. It would enable businesses to stay open later, allow workers and lower-income residents more flexibility in terms of transportation, and benefit everyone by buoying the city.

    I’ve lived through two failed tests of overnight service (the Night Owl, and Late Night T). I’ve been disappointed each time they went away. I hope the MBTA can commit to a long-term (5-10 year) program, so that all involved can know they can count on the service for a long period, and begin to adapt to it.
  • Blake Elias
    endorsed 2017-08-02 23:27:09 -0400
  • James F White
    endorsed 2017-08-02 19:16:33 -0400
    My only request is that we continue too provide access too the disability community
  • Brian coppola
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-08-02 16:47:52 -0400
    I believe #Boston deserves #BosNightBus! I hope you do, too!
  • Brian coppola
    @BrianCoppola1 tweeted link to this page. 2017-08-02 16:47:48 -0400
  • Brian coppola
    endorsed 2017-08-02 16:47:00 -0400
    Overnight bus service would make the greater Boston area even more of a least restrictive environment for those who have disabilities which prevents someone, through no choice of their own, from obtaining a driver’s license to even drive a car or other types of automobiles.

    This would also aid in opening up more avenues for people with disabilities to engage in gainful employment, attend school or college and to be able to go to and from the ER of a hospital for injuries that really do not require the use of an expensive ambulance ride.

    It is also I’d hope that this will also include Paratransit and the on demand Paratransit services of Uber and Lyft.

    In all this will greatly enhance the quality and quantity of life.
  • Sebastian Garza
    endorsed via 2017-08-02 16:33:48 -0400
  • Scott Mullen
    endorsed 2017-08-02 15:58:39 -0400