Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
“Do any of them look like they're gonna work in the snow?”
Some Bostonians create homages to the MBTA; others don’t have much love for the transit system:
It's back to the future day guess I'll hoverboard home oh wait Christopher Lloyd lied to us all I guess I'll take the @mbta instead— Patrick Lally (@Lallypb) October 21, 2015
Its true that the cash-strapped T has had its share of problems, and that the agency’s proposed solutions don’t seem like they’d be a hit. But the T has been trying to remedy its not-so-great reputation. It introduced student fare discounts earlier this year, for example. And this week, it announced some much-needed new train cars for their green, orange, and red lines, and asked commuters to weigh in on the snazzy designs.
“The manufacture and delivery of new rail cars will go a long way to enhancing MBTA service that our customers deserve and expect,” said MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack in a statement. “In recognition of how important our customers are, and the importance of the role the T plays in the region, we are launching this contest to take this process one step further and let our customers have direct input on the final exterior design of the new vehicles.”
The new cars will pimped out with new tech: computerized lighting, heating, and cooling, new displays, and better signage. They’ll also be disability friendly. The green line trolley cars (24 of them) will arriveby 2017. They’ll be followed by 152 orange line cars in 2018, and 132 red line cars in 2019.
“As these new cars are introduced to the Green, Orange, and Red Line fleets, customers will experience improvements in both capacity and reliability,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, also in the statement.
For each line, the MTA has three design options that commuters can choose from (in top image). So far, 14,000 votes are in, the MBTA reports. Judging by the reactions on Twitter, however, the initiative is not quite winning hearts and minds yet:
@MBTA why does the green line get the worst color designs ? Should be the best- esp since the line itself is already the worst.— Lindsey (@shinethawl) October 21, 2015
@MBTA do any of them look like they're gonna work in the snow?— Fleapocalypse (@Flea) October 21, 2015