Monday, March 30, 2009

Attn: Franklin MBTA Commuters

There are two group efforts you should be aware of and might want to consider joining.

1 - Put the MBTA on Google Maps
People who live in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Moscow, Montreal, and some 250 other cities can log on to Google Maps not only for walking and driving directions but also for instructions on how to get to where they need to go via public transportation.

Bostonians do not have that option, but a 20-year-old college student from Cambridge is trying to do something about it.

Last month, Luke Bornheimer created a Facebook group - which he named "Put the MBTA on Google Transit!!!" - to petition the MBTA to list the city's buses and trains with Google Maps. The group's membership grew to 135 people in less than a month.

"It seems so simple, and frankly the Boston area as a whole looks a little silly for not having their transit authority's buses and trains listed on the website," Bornheimer wrote on the group's site. "So . . . invite all your friends, anyone who rides the T, or simply someone who feels that this is a logical and simple step to more accessibility for the MBTA and Boston."
Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

Join the Facebook group here

2 - Join Clever Commute

Clever Commute is a service that enables you to share with the other riders on your T route (i.e. the Franklin Line) what you see happening with service. Many a morning at the Franklin station, I could see the trains sitting in the yard not moving, the T Alert status board continuing to scroll "All trains are on or near schedule" and we could tell that was a lie.

You probably carry a cell phone that can send a text message. All you would need to do is enroll your phone for the Franklin Line and you can send status updates. By enrolling, you also will receive status updates by others in the group. This is a great tool to share information in a timely manner. Something you are well aware that the T can not do consistently.

Visit the Clever Commute website here.

Other articles published about Clever Commute can be found here

Join the Franklin Line with these steps
  1. On the Clever Commute home page, select "Find your line"
  2. From the drop down box, Select "Commurer Rail", then Select "Boston"
  3. The screen should refresh to provide the MBTA commuter rail lines, check off Franklin
  4. Complete the remaining information
  5. Watch for the confirmation email, reply to confirm enrollment
  6. Review the reporting tips and guidelines
  7. Provide and receive updates on the Franklin line status
(Note: when I used Internet Explore to test the setup process, the screen refreshed to provide the proper choice of lines to choose from within Boston. When using Firefox, the screen did not refresh. Hence, use Internet Explorer to enroll.)


  1. From the guy that started Clever Commute:

    Thanks so much! Here in the NY/NJ/CT area, it's growing like crazy. We also had some great press coverage from NBC, CNN and the NY Times. I'd love to have that same energy in the Boston area.

  2. You are most welcome Josh! Hopefully we'll get some more folks involved.