A group of "church ladies" and some kids were kicked out of the Forest Hills Orange Line station tonight when they started to sing Christmas carols without an official MBTA busking permit.
But after learning of the situation, T General Manager Beverly Scott, making one of the first executive decisions of her first day on the job, decided to invite them back, to a "suitable and safe" location.
Rev. Laura Everett, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, reports what happened around 6:15 p.m.:
Right. 5 other church ladies, 3 kids and I were "asked to leave" the MBTA station for caroling. Apparently Christmas carols require a permit.
I get that there are rules. The cops seemed none to happy about enforcing them. But caroling? Really?
Apparently, Christmas caroling requires permits. For each church member. $30 a head.
This is the scandalous church lady life I live. Christmas caroling without a permit.
I get that public officials are under a ton of stress, especially now. But we had a bunch of sad folks looking to sing. No permit though.
After learning of the incident, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo writes:
In accordance with the Subway Performers Program's rules, Transit Police asked the 10 to 12 performers who were inside the station if they had a permit. They did not, and so they were asked to leave the busy spot teeming with pedestrians. In the spirit of the holidays, however, GM Scott would like to invite the singers back. Transit Police and station personnel will find a suitable and safe location where their voices of the season can be enjoyed by one and all.