BetaBoston

Cab app data shows where MBTA’s hours go off the rails

Taxi app start-up Hailo said it has data showing just how bad the MBTA’s early closing time is: No other city the company works in has a cab request surge like Boston does between 1 and 2 a.m. on weekends.

It’s not exactly a new complaint, and Martine Powers covered the overwhelming interest in late-night service after an MBTA survey’s results were released last week: One eager respondent said the move “would literally be the best thing ever.”

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Perhaps not the best thing ever, but it would certainly help cut down on pricey cab rides for a number of locals caught choosing between a shortened nightlife and North America’s most expensive taxi system.

Tim Treacy of Hailo Boston outlined some of the start-up’s findings.

“Drawing on data from its app users around the globe, we compared this city to London, Dublin, Toronto and Chicago, and found that Boston cab patterns stood out for a spike in rides between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on weekends, when bars and other entertainment venues close,” Treacy wrote. “We call this time period the ‘transit gap.’ No other city showed such a surge in cab traffic at any time during the week, confirming the need for service after the T closes. The MBTA shuts down earlier than any of the above cities’ public transit systems.”

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