Boston’s Buses Soon to Remove ‘Boston Strong’ Messages

A bus going through South Boston proudly displays 'Boston Strong' on its head sign and side LED sign.

Boston’s buses will soon go back to just displaying route information

At yesterday’s MBTA Rider Oversight Committee meeting, it was revealed by bus operations representative Dave Carney that the T would soon be spreading the word to all drivers to remove the message ‘Boston Strong’  from the cycled messages on bus LED signs.

While not explicitly mandated by federal ADA law, the signs are intended for passenger information. The patriotic message takes up a full 1/3 or 1/2 of the display’s time since each portion of the message is shown for the exact same amount of time. This can mean that the buses’ route information may not actually be displayed long enough to determine which route the bus is serving before passing the stop, depending on how fast the bus is approaching.

Speaking frankly, Carney noted that it will be an arduous process to take the message off buses since it needs to be removed bus by bus and some drivers may refuse to remove the message despite orders from their supervisors. If it persists, the agency may have to address individual drivers about making the change. Apparently each bus’ head sign is individually programmed, a potential opportunity for operations improvement with the MBTA.

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2 Comments on “Boston’s Buses Soon to Remove ‘Boston Strong’ Messages”

  1. Matthew says:

    Good. The spirit is nice, but blocking the bus signs like that is as obnoxious as blocking the view of, say, a traffic signal for 33-50% of each cycle. Motorists wouldn’t put up with that nonsense, why should bus riders? The fact that operators and officials do not recognize the importance of bus/route signage is pathetic.

    I recall that Pittsburgh Port Authority buses are particularly bad about these kind of messages. They ALWAYS have some stupid slogan alternating with the route sign, even as trivial as “Go Bucs!”. This is terrible on the heavy trunk portions where multiple buses can arrive simultaneously at a stop, and you may be trying to quickly pick out your bus, only to be stymied by inane messages.

  2. [...] Boston’s Buses Soon to Remove ‘Boston Strong’ Messages → [...]


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