Oh, but I snark. What got me most about the article was the fact that they need a name for these smart cards. The article mentions what other cities have done for their card systems -- given them a simple, catchy name that reflects the region or at least gives the card character. Seattle and Puget Sound will get the "Orca", Hong Kong has the Octopus, and London has the Oyster (I'm guessing the slogan there is "the city is your..." ?)
And what did the inventive geniuses of Dinkus, Dorkus and Malorkus come up with for Boston? Check out these winners, which were bandied about in a focus group:
- T Liberty
- T Hub
- T Zap
- T Go
- T Vantage
- T Plus
- T These Names All Suck
However, the best suggestion so far came almost as an ad-lib from a MBTA board member: The Charlie Card. That's as in Charlie on the MTA. One of my favorite songs ever, but that's beside the point -- this name comes complete with its own ready-to-sing jingle and, in some cases, accurately describes the T to a, well, tee. (O ye citizens of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal / How the people have to pay and pay?)
Of course, being a town of stubborn Yankees and almost-stubborn transplants, I predict everybody'll just be calling them "T cahds" no matter what. Now there's a good idea -- why not call it the Cod? Excellent pun and we get that seafaring creature angle that the other cities seem to like. And it pays homage to the fish that kept this state solvent during the lean years. Don't believe me? Visit the Massachusetts State House sometime and check out the Sacred Cod in the representatives' chambers. They open their sessions by pledging allegiance to the Sacred Cod, I kid you not.
Ah well. The T is the transit system I love to hate, and I eagerly look forward to having more reasons to do so.