Starting March 28, subway trains and Boston’s 15 most popular bus routes will run until 3 a.m.

“Well, it’s awesome because I can take the T home if I don’t get off work till 1 or 1:30," said Shelby Lee, a bartender at Champions in Cambridge who lives in Boston. “Well, actually, I have walked in snowstorms before because I didn’t want to pay for a cab. It was like two miles. I’m actually from Salt Lake City, have been here for four months now, and that was one of the shocks when I got here, that it was an early night city.”

Lee says she hopes later T service might encourage restaurants and bars to stay open a little later. That’s fine with Liliana Ospina, who works at Hynes Convention Center. She’s just happy to avoid taxis.

“We must be at work early in the morning before the T is open, and late at night after the T shuts down," she said. "Many of us spend hundreds of dollars a year taking taxis to work. Now we can take more money home to our families."

Gov. Deval Patrick and MBTA officials say the other major proponents of late-night service are hospital and tech industry employees.

"To the many researchers within all of the life sciences companies who are just a few steps away from here, the Red Line represents the backbone to an ever-growing innovation corridor,” said Tom Hopcroft, president of the Mass Technology Leadership Council.

In other words, computer programmers like to work odd hours. The state says the one-year pilot program will cost close to $20 million, and about $1 million has already come from corporate sponsorships. The T did try a night owl bus service in 2001, but ridership didn't rise to the occasion, and it ended in 2005. What’s different now? It’s not just bus service. And transportation Secretary Richard Davey says smartphone apps that track trains and buses make for happier passengers.