For those who work at night in the Greater Boston Area, the lack of MBTA service late at night can be an expensive problem. But rideshare service Lyft is now proposing a partnership.
"Lyft looked at this as an opportunity to directly target jobs access and people who needed to get to work and back," said Tyler George, Lyft General Manager in Boston.
The rideshare company is now the third business to pitch their services to the MBTA. Boston-based Bridj, a private start-up transit company, a group called Transit Matter are also proposing all night services with the MBTA.
"Competition drives productivity," said MBTA Acting General Manager, Brian Shortsleeve. "It drives creativity."
Shortsleeve said they're focused on their riders with the highest need - late night workers.
"What we know from the work that we did back in March on late-night service is that there's a lot of demand from employers who want to make sure that their employees are able to get home after hours," said Shortsleeve.
Under Lyft's proposal, a company would first have to sign up for the service. For example, a hospital or restaurant. They then submit a list of employees and pay $1 toward every ride their employee takes.
The worker would go on the app, request a car, apply the discount and only have to pay $2.75 for each ride. That price is the same as a bus ticket.
The MBTA would pay the rest of the fee which is less than $5.
The driver would be making the same amount of money no matter what.
It's estimated every year the MBTA would have to shell out $1.28 million for the program as they expect 1,000 people to use the service every night.
"There's no fixed cost for the MBTA," said George. "We already have service, we already have drivers that are on the streets giving rides, so it's not like we have to buy a bunch of assets or put a new train into service."
The MBTA is waiting on survey results that should be back within the next month or so before making a decision on the three proposals.