Ideas to Get the MBTA Out of the Red

Boston’s MBTA, the transit system I frequently use, is a 159 million in the hole, prompting officials to raise fares and cut back on services beginning July of 2012. I don’t know what that means for my commute, but with my luck, the local bus I sometimes ride to work will run every other day as opposed to every 20 minutes.

There have been reports that the MBTA, or the T as we call it in Beantowne, will begin selling naming rights to subway stations.  Why not rename North Station, TD Bank North, or rename the Airport Stop, Lufthansa, though that might confuse some people. The Subway sub shop ought to get in on the action, and Dunkin Donuts too for underground coffee.   For the bus lines, well, that is going to take some serious creative thinking.

All MBTA buses could be wrapped in vinyl advertising.  They’ve done that on a few buses already.  If memory serves, and it often does not, the MFA had dressed a bus with images from the King Tut exhibit.  But I’d like to see a Red Bull bus, where the bus driver wears a Red Bull racing jacket.  Riders would get free Red Bull shots and mothers with newborns, given out Red Bull pacifers, baby bottles and teething rings.

I like the idea of the driver dressed up in racing garb full of ads like Nascar drivers.  And maybe the uniform would make them drive faster and even more aggressively than they already do to ensure that all riders make it to their destinations on time and hopefully in one piece.

I’m also thinking that the fare box on the buses could have multiple uses.  One idea I have is to retrofit it to be a music controller.  Riders could access it on a mobile app, for a couple of bucks and send a playlist that would blast out over the PA system installed by Bose or Polk Audio, for example.  What I would give to play my Spotify playlist of the 40 worst songs ever to captive commuters. And the MBTA might as well make some money off music because riders blast their own anyway on their headphoneless smartphones.  A Bose blast would drown out those tinny speakers and maybe even reach the ears of commuters with Bose noise cancelling headphones.

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2 Responses

  1. there are some things they can STOP doing, like printing schedules: just use nextbus.com or go online! also, why did they pair up with Google to have maps of stations? this is not NYC- *that* subway system is confusing, not ours

  2. All good points!

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