Think You Know a Thing or Two About the MBTA? Prove It.
Millions of people board various MBTA buses and trains each week in order to get around Boston and surrounding cities and towns, but how much do riders really know about the public transportation system that they spend a portion of their day commuting on?
This week, straphangers can put their T knowledge to the test.
During a first-of-its-kind event, the LivableStreets Alliance, an organization that advocates the use of biking, walking, and using public transit, is challenging locals to take on “T’rivia Night,” at Lir on Boylston Street, for a chance to earn the title of most-knowledgeable MBTA rider. “Whether you’re a transit history buff, take the T only once a week, or are obsessed with the MBTA twitter feed, this event is for you! Come test your knowledge on Greater Boston’s transit system,” the organization says about the March 28 event.
The trivia challenge is free and open to the public, but donations between $5 to $10 are encouraged. Prizes will include vintage posters of the T, and other goodies. Attendees can form teams (and come up with catchy T-related names, as is custom on trivia nights), or form a group with other random T riders once they get to the bar.Whether participants want to flaunt their public transit knowledge or not, LivableStreets encourages people to attend so riders can “learn some new facts and history about the ‘T.’”
Kara Oberg, program manager with LivableStreets, says both the popularity and unpopularity of the T, and everything going on in terms of late night service discussions and future funding issues made it an ideal time to have “a fun event while drawing awareness” to the transportation system’s state-wide struggles. While she wouldn’t give specifics, Oberg says questions will range from a warm up round of basic stats, followed by questions about ridership numbers, the frequented lines and the T’s funding dilemma, so riders should brush up before Thursdays event. Oberg says there will also be neighborhood-centric topics. “It will be half local knowledge, and half advocacy and funding,” she says.
In the days after the event, LivableStreets will host a Town Hall-style Twitter forum and answer riders’ questions about the cash-strapped transportation agency.
On April 1, from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., passengers can take to social media using the hashtag “MATranspoTalk” to get vital information about the MBTA’s finances and upcoming discussions in regards to potential fare increases and service cuts. Queries will be handled by Lizzi Weyant, advocacy director of Transportation for Massachusetts, and Rafael Mares, staff attorney at Conservation Law Foundation.
On April 2, the group will continue its MBTA activism and join a host of other transit advocacy groups on the steps of the State House, during “Transportation Day,” and call for long-term transportation funding in Massachusetts.
Although Oberg wasn’t too specific about the questions at T’rivia night, Boston magazine wants to submit the following:
Which MBTA Line smells most like a bathroom urinal?
Where was stroller cat first spotted on the T?
Which train line is most likely to make you late for work?