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Hey, kids: The T says it's time to get down and party hardy again

MBTA ad poster that calls for less isolating, more maskless partying

You're still supposed to wear a mask on the T and thanks to the delta variant, Covid-19 numbers are beginning to slowly rise in Massachusetts again, so what better time for the T to try to get people back on the subway than with ads showing maskless young people whooping it up? Our own Ron Newman spotted this today at Charles/MGH.

Daily new cases of Covid-19 in Massachusetts between 6/15 and 7/15. Source.

Chart showing recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts
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Comments

This? This?
This is what they pay that ad agency so much money for? I'd demand a refund for this fiasco.

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I hear you, but shit I automatically demand a refund with these unreliable trains. This ad is false advertising, there should be a disclaimer stating you might not make it to your function due to train reliability

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37

Trains have been very reliable for me since I started riding the T again a couple months ago.

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Having previously worked on a MassDOT project with an agency, I can tell you that multiple "important" people at the MBTA (and maybe even DOT) signed off on this. Agencies just don't get a retainer and carte blanch to running ads. The MBTA also managed those digital screen in-house and would see and test everything that came through, or at least they used to.

Big picture though, agree this is a terrible idea.

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44

Imagine just loading all that advertising money as monthly passes and handing them out to people that need to get to work/job interviews/doctors appointments or even young people that want to go to concerts rather than cutting a check to a corporation to put some helvetica text over a stock photo. This pic is definitely going make me choose the Green Line over Uber; heck of a job, MBTA!

Also, if you’re already inside the Charles/MGH Red Line station, do you really need the MBTA to convince you to take the T?

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89

or whatever you call one of those small billboards that display a different announcement or advertisement every 15 seconds or so. For much of the time, the sign displays paid commercial ads.

So it doesn't cost the MBTA much of anything to display this occasionally. I just wonder if it's the right message these days.

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36

So although I don't know how much money was wasted on this, some amount was.

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44

Oh the T, spending money like they earned it.

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33

Gee, where else could this money have been spent?

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27

I see more and more members of Plague Rat Delta Force on the T. If you're lucky, they're wearing their masks as a jowl cozy, but usually they just sit there, with no mask at all.

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38

I’ve been on a few buses and Green line cars where the operator refused to go forward if a passenger was maskless.

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44

Those MBTA operators are protecting themselves and riders -- kudos to them!

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78

One operator took a lot of really vicious verbal abuse but the abuser got off the bus. He was further encouraged to go by passengers.

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48

The Red and Orange (the only ones I've really taken since the Unpleasantness) are a different story. It's about 80/20 during the day (and the 20% non-compliant include a LOT of station staff) and about 10/90 at night.

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Last night, a family of tourists and their kids got on the Red Line at Charles. None of them wore masks. The parents looked pretty smug as the announcements for mandatory mask wearing blared several times.

What a great example they set for their children.

At least their kids had the grace to look embarrassed, especially one boy who tried to cover his nose and mouth with his shirt.

Edit: Here's an apt cartoon: https://www.gocomics.com/stuartcarlson/2021/07/19

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I haven't seen a single operator give a shit.

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25

Party train.

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24

Beastie means to act crazy,outlandish,stupid or retarded. Is that the subtle message the T is making about the young people of color in their ads. Someone better apologize to young riders.

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23

Because that ad doesn't say "beastie."

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56

This "party hearty" bullshit is precisely that. There are far too many people who just don't give a shit about others and just want to do whatever the hell they please despite the fact that we're in the middle of a pandemic. People need to grow up and take responsibility by doing their part in protecting themselves and others from this pandemic that Donald Trump got us into by laughing Covid-19 off as a hoax and refusing to do a goddamned thing about it until it was too late to contain and control it.

That having been said, it's high time that the MBTA staff started cracking down on people refusing to wear masks and social distance, and for Governor Baker to re-instate the mask mandate--pronto!

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32

Other than Adam's headline?

If you read the text of the ad it implies getting together with your friends - in a generationally expressed way, perhaps.

Young people having fun = OMG TROUBLE NOT ALLOWED in your world. We get that.

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33

I think "party hardy" is an accurate description of what the photo is trying to show.

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OUR 1AM CURFEW IS STRICTLY ENFORCED or you will be fighting for ubers, risking fake ubers, fighting for cabs or walking home.

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36

Getting a BlueBike. I understand from the finest source (OK, Boston Reddit) that's become a late-night thing.

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32

I have long used them late at night to get to somewhere I could walk home from, but now I'll have to wrestle for them? Hmmm.

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26

… and get a handlebar lift home.

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Looks more like an ad for deodorant.

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It does sort of remind me of some classic ads from about 30 years ago ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqxtt-wJ18Y

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25

Smells Like T Spirit.

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28

Why does the MBTA need to advertise for anything??? Are there folks out there that don't know major cites have public transportation systems??? What's next...the city advertising that it has roads?

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28

Is to make some money selling ads to third parties. But the ad company that runs the system doesn't always sell every last spot - and there's probably a provision that the T gets some space and time for internal advertising (like to announce upcoming service interruptions during repair work and the like - and now, I guess, to advertise that the young and the carefree can take the T without a worry in the world).

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31

Fenway residents are still protesting the cut of the 55 bus route between Fenway Health Center and the Boston Common.

Surely, the cost to Massachusetts taxpayers and the federal government for such a clueless, maskless ad campaign would more than cover a bus driver and fuel for getting the elderly to medical appointments and children to daycare on what was once the Reliable 55.

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22

Only as far as Copley Square, but does it really need to continue beyond there? You can transfer to the Green Line at Copley if you need to go downtown. Copley is now ADA-compliant.

It does have an odd schedule, however, running from 10 am to 4 pm, seven days a week.

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makes me think of National Geographic covers.

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27

but I'd recommend using a 7-day moving average, at minimum, since there's huge variation in testing rates by day of week.

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28

More money well spent on improving passenger service.

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