MassDOT and the MBTA today unveiled the IdeaBus, a repurposed 40 foot MBTA bus outfitted with furniture and décor from Wayfair.com, on display outside of South Station as part of Boston Idea Week (BIW), running from June 11th through the 19th. MassDOT and the MBTA will collaborate on several events throughout the week that will spur conversations and bold new ways of thinking about transportation.
“A key part of progress in transportation comes from creative thinking and input from our customers who use our services every day,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “At MassDOT, we’ve challenged our employees to start thinking differently about how we can improve the customer experience. I couldn’t be happier to have MassDOT be a partner in a week dedicated to changing the way we think about our city and our lives.”
BIW is an unprecedented partnership between the city, state, advocates, businesses and the community.
Beginning Thursday afternoon, the MBTA & Wayfair IdeaBus will be parked in front of one of Boston’s busiest transportation hubs, South Station. The IdeaBus asks customers to reimagine the future of transportation and is intended to spark conversation about where the city and region are headed. Commuters and passersby are invited to come on board, check it out share their ideas for improving public transportation. MassDOT, the MBTA and Wayfair.com are encouraging people to snap and share a picture of the IdeaBus for a chance to win a $250 gift card from Wayfair.com and a one-month CharlieCard from the MBTA.
In addition to the IdeaBus, MassDOT and the MBTA will celebrate Idea Week in other ways. From June 16th – June 18th, the MBTA’s Courthouse Silver Line station will serve as the venue for one of BIW’s signature events; “Idea Lab: The Reality of Boston Now,” recognizing the many ways in which Boston has become a world-class city.
Throughout Idea Week, “Idea Boards” will also be located at three stations – Downtown Crossing, Ashmont and Courthouse – giving customers the opportunity to think and express themselves while waiting for their train or bus. They will be present throughout Idea Week and will be sponsored by various community groups, posing questions and generating a conversation about some of the city’s most pressing issues. The boards were provided by Gilbane Building Company and IdeaPaint. Late Night MBTA, now in its third month, will also be part of the Idea Week celebration. On Saturday, June 14th, riders should expect performance artists and musicians on various late night trains.
Over the past several years, the MBTA and MassDOT have radically transformed how we and our customers think about transportation. Late-night MBTA service, launched in late March, has quickly proven popular and is a driving force behind making Boston an even more attractive place to work and play.
MassDOT’s Open Data Initiative was revolutionary; giving independent developers access to transportation data to create apps that give riders’ more information to plan their trips. The countdown clock system, providing real-time arrival information, has become a customer favorite, eliminating uncertainty of waiting for their train or bus. mTicket mobile ticketing has made riding the Commuter Rail or Ferry a cash-free, worry-free experience for thousands of riders, allowing them to purchase their passes right on their smartphones.
“I have worked in great cities across the country and I can tell you that Boston is a city engaged like no other,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly A. Scott. “I’m looking forward to hearing how our customers think we can do better, not only as a transit system, but as members of the community at large.”
To help share your #IdeaBus selfies, the MBTA will launch its official Instagram account, @MBTApics, today. Tag your #IdeaBus pictures with @MBTApics and follow us for a behind the scenes, fun, inside look at the MBTA.
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