T-Alerts and Our Needy Ex-Boyfriend

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1196882796After celebrating the first birthday of the CharlieCard yesterday, we wanted to update you on how the tyke’s baby cousin is doing. Last Thursday, we signed up for the new T-Alerts system in the hopes of being kept up-to-date on T delays. And while it has technically succeeded, it reminds us an awful lot of our needy ex-boyfriend.

We know we’ve compared both Mitt Romney and the MBTA leadership to various boyfriends, but there’s really no other way to describe the T-Alerts. Much like our relationship with Needy, we started out so happy but soon began to feel stifled.

The signup process is relatively painless. We entered our email address and phone number, and selected which services we’d like updates for. Before we signed up, we feared we’d get messages at times we don’t use the T, but the service helpfully allows you to choose the hours you’d like to get updates. Just after we completed the process, our phones beeped with a text message. It informed us there were delays on the E Line due to a car accident, preventing us from waiting around for a jammed car.

“Wow,” we said breathlessly. “This is wonderful.”

Ah, young love.

Then about an hour later, our phone beeped again. The service informed us that the E Line was back to normal. We can see this may be useful, but if the text messages kept up at such a furious pace we were going to need a loan to pay our Verizon bill.

At 6:46 the next morning, we got out of the shower and heard our phone beeping. There was a delay on the Green Line due to a disabled train at Government Center. At 7:05, we got the all-clear message.

Then, just this morning, our phones alerted us to some sort of fire emergency at Lechmere at the ungodly hour of 6:24a.m. We squinted, wondering who the hell would be bothering us during our last six minutes of sleep. Oh, right, we thought, the T.Listen, we love so much about you, T-Alerts. We love that you give us the information we need to prepare a Plan B when the Green Line is disabled or on fire. But this relationship costs us so much. In less than a week, you’ve sent us 13 text messages. At 10 cents a pop, that’s $1.30 a week, $5.20 a month, which makes $62.40 a year. That’s a month’s LinkPass and one breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts annually.

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to break up with you, just like we did with the needy boyfriend. Our time together has been wonderful, but we think you should be with someone who really needs you. Like those poor bastards who take the commuter rail.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2007/12/05/t-alerts-and-our-needy-ex-boyfriend/