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MBTA photo policy

By adamg - 2/7/14 - 7:53 am


T workers tell Anthony Tulliani he can't take pictures on the T even though T policy says you can take pictures on the T.

Separately, T workers got a memo this week that they can't sleep on the job.

By adamg - 7/15/12 - 10:07 am

Rob Grover reports an incident on a Green Line trolley at Park Street last night that makes you wonder - again - how well T workers keep up with their own written policies, in this case the one that says passengers can take pictures. In a series of tweets, he writes:

3838 at Park St. at 9pm, the motorwoman flashed interior lights on & off, screaming I can't take pics. Why am I harassed about this?

By adamg - 7/2/12 - 4:07 pm

Updated MBTA photo policy - dispenses with requirement to show ID if asked, but see the section about not taking photos of "restricted areas," basically inside normally locked doors and the like where only workers go. MBTA Transit Police tweeted this means:

If you are in a public area and can see it, you can photograph it. Stay behind the yellow line!

By adamg - 9/10/11 - 5:54 pm

Adam Weiss reports a T worker at State Street ordered him to put away his camera "because of 9/11."

Weiss adds it was one of the orange vests, not a T cop, and that he would have tried to explain the T's photo policy, but his train was pulling in.

By adamg - 10/31/10 - 2:56 pm

Guy reports (click to expand) a driver on a Mattapan trolley told him to stop videoing out the back window because he didn't have a permit - which the T stopped issuing three years ago when it decided to allow non-commercial photography.

By adamg - 8/7/10 - 2:04 pm

O'Connor and DaveyT GM Richard Davey, Deputy Transit Police Chief Joseph O'Connor at Hynes today.
MBTA officials today hailed people using social media to post photos of alleged exposers and gropers, although they said they're prefer if the photos were forwarded to them before being posted to social-media sites.

At the same time, officials say there are limits to photography underground: Try taking photos of power panels or locks or tunnels and don't be surprised if a T worker tells you to knock it off.

By adamg - 7/14/10 - 11:43 pm

Libberding reports a photography class she teaches went into the bowels of Harvard station tonight to, well, take photos. And they were promptly blocked by T workers who told them to knock it off, even though official T policy specifically allows non-commercial photography on T property (with certain safety caveats, such as no use of flash):

By adamg - 2/12/10 - 2:20 pm

Back in October, a trolley driver threatened Owen Byrne with arrest for taking a photo at the Newton Highlands T stop.

Today, he reports, he was back at Newton Highlands to be interviewed by a reporter and camera crew about the MBTA photo policy that a sizable number of T employees don't seem to know exists:

By adamg - 2/12/10 - 8:54 am

Jeff Tamagini reports a run-in at Kenmore this morning with an MBTA supervisor unaware that the authority allows photography in stations:

By adamg - 11/19/09 - 4:42 pm

Adam Weiss reports one of those black-suited special-forces T cops told him to stop taking pictures at the Government Center T stop this afternoon because, apparently, nobody's ever told him about the MBTA's official photography policy - which says picture taking is allowed on T property (just without a flash or tripod). Weiss says:

At least he was nice about it this time. He apologized, saying he didn't know the rules. Let me go on my way. Nothing against the cop, just the T for not informing him.

By adamg - 10/10/09 - 7:39 am
Worth an arrest?

Owen Byrne reports what happened after he took this photo at the Newton Highlands stop on the Riverside line last night:

By adamg - 9/26/09 - 1:04 pm

Eric Kilby reports:

I was given a hard time last night by an inspector at the Haymarket bus platform, as I was trying to get a shot of the Government Center garage. The light was interesting. He said that he was instructed to tell people to get a permit or go away. I told him that there was a memo, but I didn't have a copy, and he said he hadn't heard of it. I thanked him for looking out for our safety and left, because it really wasn't worth the trouble to argue. He said it would be ok if I took like 5 steps back so I was on the public sidewalk and not the MBTA sidewalk (the texture was different), which seems kind of odd.

This comes a couple days after another T worker harassed some poor tourist for daring to take a photo inside Back Bay station.

If the T has suddenly changed its photo policy, you'd think they'd update the online version, no? Oh, wait, this is an agency that's only now updating 40-year-old maps ...

By adamg - 9/24/09 - 7:52 am

Ben Ostrander tweets that around 7:40 this morning:

Saw a tourist with a crappy point & shoot stopped by T employee at Back Bay & told she couldn't do that.

As Ostrander notes, that fall under the category of "Not True." The MBTA's posted photo policy says non-commercial photography is OK - the main limitations are you can't use a flash or tripod and you have to provide ID if requested by a T cop or official.

By adamg - 6/12/09 - 8:29 am

So this guy who's really fascinated with buses thought it would be cool to follow an old T bus to the end of the line - to the plant in Everett where they're shredded and put on a barge on the Mystic River. He missed the No Trespassing sign:

... "Yeah Sarge,he is a busnut...I looked at the photos on his camera,nothing but buses"

He said also "Don't be surprised if the Department of Home land Security checks you out" ...

By adamg - 8/29/08 - 8:41 am

Mike reports on a little run-in with a couple of guys in an MBTA SUV outside a South Boston bus depot:

Recently I was in South Boston to take pictures of the Macallen condo building. Directly across the street is (what I think is) an MBTA bus depot, and I took a few photos in that direction to capture a rainbow that appeared after the rain. As I was leaving, an MBTA SUV pulled up with two people inside and asked me what newspaper I work for. I said the photos are for a photography class I'm taking. They responded quickly something about warning me that I wasn't allowed to take photos on or of MBTA property and drove off. ...

Further proof the MBTA's photo policy not worth the paper it's printed on (incident at South Station).

I'd point to the MBTA's own photo policy, but the MBTA Police Web site is now the Kenmore busway of Web sites: Yes, it's under construction (because apparently whoever's re-doing the site has never heard of using an internal test server while keeping the existing live site up instead of just displaying a large graphic of a guy shoveling manure). So here is a copy of a draft of the policy, which I recall was basically the same.

By adamg - 4/18/08 - 3:25 pm

Kevin Church reports men in uniforms demanded he put away his camera at South Station today:

I'm fairly sure this is an nudging of my rights, but since I never bothered to read up on these things, I'm just going to nod and smile and thank god the government is looking out for fat guys with wide-angle lenses. ...

Alleged MBTA photo policy, which supposedly allows non-commercial photography in public areas.

By adamg - 4/9/08 - 8:15 pm

Imagine: Dude was taking photos out the window of a Providence Line train:

... Shortly after taking a few pictures, a conductor came along and told me I wasn't permitted to take photos on the train. 'Why not?' I asked politely, turning off my camera and putting it away. The answer was along the lines of 'Because.' ...

By Arborway - 7/16/07 - 1:22 pm

Heard this morning that the MBTA will no longer require permits for those who wish to take photos on their property.

A few things to remember:

By adamg - 6/13/06 - 10:05 pm

The ACLU threatens to sue the T over its photography policy - which basically says you can't - unless you've gotten a permit.

About time somebody stood up to the T bullies, who are more concerned about potentially embarassing photos exemplifying bad service than stopping potential terrorists, BadTransit writes:

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