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Bus service lets Boston college students stay out past T's closing time

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  February 28, 2012 10:20 AM

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Boston’s college students know how hard it can be to socialize once the clock strikes midnight--the T starts to shut down, cabs become scarce, and a long walk back home becomes a strong possibility.

Now, three recent Boston University graduates hope to provide a safe, fun, and much later ride home to club-goers with their new bus service, Boston Nightlife Express.

“Everyone is having the time of their lives. It really is a special feeling just filling up a bus with colleges kids just looking to have a good time,” Ryan Kaplan, one of the company’s three co-founders, said in a phone interview.

For a $3 to $5 bus ticket, students get a safe, simple lift to and from designated areas on their school’s campus along with perks from clubs, like passes to the front of the line or a discounted price on cover charges.

“The kids’ jaws just drop when they get pizza,” Kaplan said of another perk.

Kaplan and co-founders Jonathan Castillo and Eric Pasinski did test runs of the service last semester and since the start of this semester have been steadily picking up more and more students on their Friday night trips and occasionally run private trips for large groups.

Although the service is taking a break for midterms, buses usually run through Boston University and Emerson College campuses to a stop central to downtown clubs, and could serve more colleges in the city on more nights as the business expands.

The company is also working with Salem State University and Endicott College, which has a private campus, to establish a bus line from those colleges to and from the city.

“There’s literally nothing to do in that area,” said Pasinski, a Nahant resident. “It gets pretty boring pretty fast.”

The lack of entertainment and transportation outside the city has Pasinski and Kaplan looking to expand to the suburbs, too, and the college officials they have talked to are considering getting on board.

“They’ve been very excited to get students into a more diverse social setting than the suburbs,” Pasinski said.

While the Boston Nightlife Express buses offer an alternative to cabs and T’s limited service, its founders say their goal isn’t to compete, but help make travel in the city more efficient.

“We’re not competing with the T,” Pasinski said. “We’re finding a solution to its problems.”
Twitter: @YTFenwayKenmore, @JohannaKaiser

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