Time was, a train entering a tunnel was just a metaphor, not a sales pitch

Erectile Dysfunction train on the Orange Line

Some Orange Line riders have plenty of opportunity to think about trains plunging into tunnels these days thanks to the ads that have been plastered in every ad spot in certain cars.

Some people might even recall the old sperm ads on the Red Line.


Free tagging: 



Would be so nice if the

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Would be so nice if the government and MBTA just provided services, and charged fares and collected taxes to pay for those services. Instead we have government running an advertising business.

No, we don't

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The T contracts all the ad stuff out to a third-party private company, so don't worry - your trolley isn't late because of advertising.


If the T managed their ad space in-house

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instead of contracting it out, and based the bulk of their ad managers' pay on commission, think how much more revenue they would generate. Not to mention how much more quickly the advertisements would refresh.

One manager of advertising, two assistant managers, and an office flunky is all you'd need. But OMG, that means actually HIRING people. Can't have any of that, now can we.

Cost of Staff

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You should look at the comparison between numbers.

Staff is expensive.. in house staff. Figure one person will make 85k or more. Add 3 and you've sucked up at least a 1/4 of a million bucks and have not even sold an ad yet. Then add costs of doing business like rent, phones, internet service, etc etc. And don't forget about healthcare, dental, retirement plans, etc etc. that go along with employees salaries as benefits

Sure the T already provides this to employees but there's still an added cost known as "Cost of doing business and having employees"

And I'm being conservative with salaries... most top level advertise directors make over 150k.

I think contracting out is far cheaper in this case. You only pay for services you order and use. And companies who do it this way have a far better understanding how this works than someone in house. You're paying for knowledge.

Those ads provide funds to

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Those ads provide funds to operate and maintain the system. Without them your fares or taxes would be higher. Japan's awesome privatized transit systems make most of their money operating and developing real-estate along their transit lines. They'd be bankrupt depending on fares alone.

the amazing thing to me is how little revenue it provides

From the FY16 budget (most recent ), they take in $17.1 million from advertising, 17.2 million (net) from parking, 13.3 million from real estate, and $36.9 million from mysterious other non-operating revenue sources.

Millions of dollars sounds dramatic, but all that adds up to just 4% of the overall income. Just about half (almost a billion dollars) comes from the sales tax, and 30% comes from fares.

The advertising revenue is literally dwarfed by changes in tax income due to economic fluctuations year to year. Since that comes from the sales tax, I bet they'd get more overall income by making the advertising free to local small businesses (and not accepting ad campaigns from airlines and national brands that don't really directly boost Massachusetts consumer spending — or at least, make those 10x more expensive).

Not just orange

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I was on the other three lines this morning and they were definitely "up" throughout the blue and red, not sure about the green.


south station too

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For the last couple weeks at least.

I often think fondly of when SS looked like a station and not the inside of a pop-up ad.


**Lest We Forget**

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Always secure permission from the Dispatcher before accessing the right-of-way.

Make sure your handbrake is properly set before engaging the manual release.

Use caution when making adverse movements; and always at reduced speed.



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I've been meaning to tweet about this..

How is this legal?

No physical exam, looks like you just sign up, send off your note, and it gets delivered.

Who knew so many guys had ED problems?

but they don't.. guys use it to stay hard when they don't really want to.


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I always found it funny when Frank says

"Entering Kendall" (or Charles, or Andrew)

Not unless it gets to the Supreme Court and they rule for it ...

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That decision is in the 9th circuit (the western US). Here in the 1st circuit (New England and Puerto Rico), the court system has upheld the way the MBTA and its advertising contractor decide who can and cannot advertise on the T.

In fact, in 2016, in a case involving the same group as in Washington state, the Supreme Court basically upheld a ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeals that T ad spaces are not a public forum subject to the First Amendment, that the T and its contractor had written policies on what sort of ads they would accept and that they administered those rules fairly (technically, the Supreme Court didn't actually hear the appeal; it simply rejected the case).