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Charlie will continue to ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston

Charlie on a CharlieCard

Sorry, Nia: Charlie's staying.

DigBoston reports the MBTA is spending $5.5 million on a marketing contract with a Waltham firm with ties to Charlie Baker and that the T has already put several of their ideas to humanize and promote the T into action. But the state rejected a proposal to ditch Charlie as the name of T passes in favor of a rotating set of 8 to 10 names a year, including Nia, Mike and Jose.

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Maybe we can just name them after the next name on the list of hurricanes so we don't have to pay someone to come up with new names. Given the disaster that the T is - that might be appropriate.

(snark on - the T is SLOOOOOOWLY getting better and we are finally spending money about as fast as staff can absorb it - but it does have a long way to go).

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Voting closed 26

Perhaps Adam should just use hurricane names for each new fail?

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Voting closed 8

It is old.
So old it need not be bold.
It is free and need not be sold.
It can bring some warmth to a heart gone cold.

Hopefully you will read a rhyme that gives you a file,
That sparks a light to your heart, lifts you for a mile.
Helps you look at some humdrum concrete sidewalk tile,
And in the midst of the most quotidian of things find a reason to smile.

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Voting closed 15

AJ or Groper?

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Voting closed 5

I would support raising the gas tax to support the T but I know ,the cynic in me says the money will go down the toilet

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Voting closed 18

Urban dictionary and Google were no help.

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Who no one should sit next to on an airplane

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Voting closed 11

You mean I can’t have a T pass that “looks like me”? Oh, the horror!

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Voting closed 20

I've known Charlies of every racial and ethnic group, plus have female friends who go by that nickname. No reason not to have pictures on the card of a wide variety of people, but it sure gets confusing if the name of the card keeps changing.

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Voting closed 11

knew emanated a whiff of Charlie.

Groundbreaking marketing using many later-famous models in its day. Weird to think now that an African-American model or a girl wearing pants in a perfume ad was once daring.

Some dopes today would call that political correctness. I call it progress, albeit in the service of consumerism. Whatever helps break down reactionary small-mindedness, I’m okay with. It clearly hit a nerve, helped make it the most popular perfume in the world for years.

It evokes powerful, vivid memories in me, like a lot of scents from my youth — gasoline (from pre-vapor-capture gas pumps), clam boils, fresh asphalt, balsam-fir Christmas incense, firecrackers, Coney Island hot dogs, rotting leaves in tiny ponds in New England woods, teen classmate perfume (ah, Betty Flanagan!) — but I haven’t run into that particular Charlie in many years.

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Voting closed 9

I like this idea, and you're quite right. "Charlie" must be one of the most flexible names in that sense. They could issue new Charlie cards with each batch they print, with a new central "Charlie." They could put out for competitions among schools or non-profits. If any group wants their version of Charlie depicted on the card, they could produce some winning art.

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Voting closed 6

Changing the name would be quite confusing.

Why not just name it as MBTAcard?
Simple and easy.

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If FNMA can be "Fannie Mae," maybe the MBTA could do a made-up name like "Embie Tiay?" :-)

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How about "T-card?"

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That's 5.5 million that isn't going to improve infrastructure or service. SMH.

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... for a really stupid renaming idea?!!!
The 5.5 should have been spent on actually improving the T.

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Voting closed 70

People complain about the delays, the doors, and schedule, the employees, the cleanliness, the safety, the fares, and the lack of destinations.

But no one has ever complained about the name of the RFID card.

So yeah, let's work on that.

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Voting closed 77

Where did you get that idea?

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Voting closed 6

It's 5.5 million for a marketing campaign to promote the T (riding it and using a Chuck Card). It's not 5.5m just to cycle through naming.

I will agree though that changing the name of the Chahlee Cahd is dumb and unnecessary

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Voting closed 31

would be to give the citizens of the metro area the confidence that taking the T would, on a daily basis, actually get you around quicker than hopping from place to place in a burlap sack

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Voting closed 66

has 99 problems but the name of a fucking T pass ain't one.

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Voting closed 84

But this recommendation was so ridiculous I find it hard to believe this is a real marketing company and not just some folks spittballin' in a bar somewhere.

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consultancy. A former employer of mine needed a new company name after a merger of equals. The firm we paid mid-five-figures came up with 20 of the most nonsensical, idiotic-sounding company names I’d ever heard in my life, like, worthy of The Onion.

Our SVP of marketing and sales came up with the winner himself: simple, evocative, honoring both companies’ histories, and alphabetically ahead of our most lethal competitor. Genius!

RIP, Gary, you tall, handsome, dapper, perfectly half-silver-haired, eminently decent, hilarious, ethical, unpretentiously competent mofo. (The important half of those qualities is too rare in that role in my industry.)

I liked his taste in food, too. I keep my food-writer side hustle on the down-low at my day job, but I still get known as a go-to resource for restaurant recs, the obsessive amateur food geek. He never needed mine: his choices for business entertaining were always impeccable, flatteringly reflecting local color, no tourist cliches or dull fancy chain steakhouses, and off the clock, we bumped into each other in Boston restaurants dozens of times.

Example of his humor: I was headed to Saudi Arabia. He showed me a letter from the local Saudi embassy telling him to remind me not to bring drugs, alcohol or porn into the country. His deadpan remark: “Umm, so, Slim: how do they know about you?” Frickin’ loved that dude.

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Voting closed 7

It's cute in the summer when Coke makes soda cans with all different names printed on them. It would be stupid and pointless to do the same thing with Charlie Cards.

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Voting closed 20

Rotating names would be confusing as heck for tourists.

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Voting closed 15

Not really.

"Here's a card."
"But it says Nia! My guidebook said it's supposed to say Charlie!"
-said nobody ever

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Voting closed 4

Why not call it a T Pass?

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It's not exactly a pass. It can have passes on it, but the card itself is not a pass. I think "T-card" sounds like a better name.

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Change simply for the sake of change is an abdication of leadership. -- John Luke, CEO

Absolutely ridiculous to waste time and money contemplating a politically correct name change to the Charlie Card. John Luke had it right, an abdication of leadership. A costly one at that. $5M for this? That's why people fight the gas tax increase every time it's tried.

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guess I shouldn’t be surprised to agree with Fish on something. But however well-intentioned, this kind of fucked-priorities proposal is harmful. It plays into the worst stereotypes of conservatives about government-encouraged inclusivity and tolerance.

Those are still good things, righties: don’t sneer at the basic notion just because this particular idea is patently stupid. You still have the opportunity to become more open to the idea of social progress, and recognize that small tokens of acceptance can mean as much as larger ones to our historically disregarded and dispossessed fellow humans.

Consider that you have at least a few relatives, friends and colleagues who are secretly hoping you can soften your antiquated prejudices, because they otherwise like or even love you, but — for whatever your other admirable, endearing qualities — on that one score, you’re kind of an ignorant, hateful shit. (RIP, Dad.)

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Voting closed 8