A while ago, I wrote about the MBTA’s test program of playing crappy commercial radio over the PA system at Boston subway stops. Because what Boston really needs is government-sponsored noise pollution. After many complaints, the MBTA has decided to shelve the program, for now anyway:
…disparate T riders are united in joy and a degree of quiet. The two-week-old experiment in bringing disc jockeys and music to MBTA platforms, “T Radio,” has been shelved, at least for now.
“There is a God,” said Tom Augello, a multimedia editor from Cambridge.
Augello is still bitter from a trip to South Station, hearing Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight,” a song that got stuck in his subconscious and refused to leave.
“Not just Phil Collins, but somebody really inanely explaining the back story for that song,” he added.
…”The end of torture radio,” Roslyn Klein said when she heard the news.
Klein, 60, heard T Radio every morning at South Station on her commute from Lowell.
“It’s 6:30 in the morning …I really think there is such a thing as noise pollution,” Klein said.
Despite the overwhleming majority of 1,800 responses telling the MBTA how awful the program was, the MBTA hasn’t scrapped it completely (italics mine):
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says it may bring back the private radio venture, after a period of study. But a spokesman conceded that the agency received an overwhelming number of e-mails – 1,800, mostly complaints – about the live radio station that played in platforms at South Station, North Station, and Logan International Airport.
“Staff has not been dividing the e-mails in specific categories. I can tell you that some customers had favorable things to say. Many had mixed things to say,” said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA. “Most expressed displeasure with the concept.”
Pesaturo said T Radio could come back with a new format, but he did not say when. MBTA general manager Dan Grabauskas had initially said the trial run would go until at least Thanksgiving, but Pesaturo said 1,800 e-mails gave staff enough feedback to realize most riders do not like it, at least in the current format.
In the previous article, the MBTA admitted that this program probably wouldn’t generate net revenue, so why are they still plugging it? Either there’s someone well-placed at MBTA who just won’t take no (actually, fuck you) for an answer, or somebody has been rather free with campaign contributions. Either way, this program needs to be killed for good. No government-sponsored noise pollution.