Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm furious.

These are the times that try men's souls. In the course of our nation's history, the people of Boston have rallied bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened. Today, a new crisis has arisen. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, better known as the M.T.A., is attempting to levy a burdensome tax on the population in the form of a subway fare increase*. Citizens, hear me out! This could happen to you!


*For "subway fare increase", read "T Radio."

This will be commerical radio that's piped into the stations. All the time.

Here is the MBTA's press release.

I'm a subway musician. If there's radio, I can't do my job, and right now, they're piloting this in two of the busiest and most lucrative stations in the system (North Station and South Station for those of you who don't care for the linkage). The T did this without running it by any subway performers, and opposition is mobilizing, but it takes time.

Here is the beginning of the opposition, being organized by Stephen Baird.

Please, if you're local to Boston and you care at all, please contact the T and tell them this is a horrible idea that you do not want. Even if you don't like buskers, think about having bad radio blasted at you ALL THE TIME. At least now there's a chance you can wait in peace if there isn't anyone busking; T Radio will never leave you alone. Ever.

Customer service for the MBTA is (617) 222-3200. You might need to do some explaining, since the folks who are answering the phone aren't quite familiar with T Radio. Or the Subway Performer's Program. I'll be calling the agency that actually manages the Subway Performer's Program tomorrow and seeing if they even know about this.

Please also spread the word.

Now you citizens of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal?


Anonymous said...

Greetings from a fellow subway musician!

Even though I'm not in Boston, I am outraged by this issue. Forget that I comisurate with fellow buskers - as an ordinary commuter I would hate being constantly bombarded by radio chatter and commercials. If you don't like a subway performer - you can walk away. But there will be no way to walk away from the radio since it will be everywhere in the subway system!

All the best,

'Saw Lady'

Fiddler said...

Hi, I've heard of you! Thanks for commenting!

So far, I haven't heard of anyone who thinks this is a good idea. Even people who don't really like the live music certainly don't want to be radioed at. I'm thinking about going to one of the pilot stations and asking if they can turn the radio off for me, but that's going to have to wait until the weekend. I'll post how it goes.

Buskers here are mobilizing; there's two meetings tomorrow, and a draft of a petition has already been drawn up to send around. We were all blindsided, and that's part of what's so aggravating.

Hope all's well with you.