Thursday, 4:30 PM
After two-week trial, T Radio is silenced
(Jim Davis/Globe Staff file photo/2004)
Buskers such as folk singer Lisa Bastoni, shown above in 2004, will once again be able play instruments on MBTA platforms without being drowned out by corporate disc jockeys. T Radio has been stopped after a two-week trial.
By Noah Bierman, Globe Staff
Some T riders complained about the Phil Collins music and the lame trivia. Others balked at hearing commercials in yet another public space. Then there were those who wondered why the young guitarists who play live music on subway platforms were being drowned out by the radio gaga of corporate disc jockeys.
But today, these disparate T riders are united in joy and a degree of quiet. The two-week-old experiment in bringing disc jockeys and music to MBTA platforms, "T Radio," has been shelved, at least for now.
"There is a God," said Tom Augello, a multimedia editor from Cambridge.
Augello is still bitter from a trip to South Station, hearing Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight," a song that got stuck in his subconscious and refused to leave.
"Not just Phil Collins, but somebody really inanely explaining the back story for that song," he added.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says it may bring back the private radio venture, after a period of study. But a spokesman conceded that the agency received an overwhelming number of e-mails – 1,800, mostly complaints – about the live radio station that played in platforms at South Station, North Station, and Logan International Airport.
"Staff has not been dividing the e-mails in specific categories. I can tell you that some customers had favorable things to say. Many had mixed things to say," said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA. "Most expressed displeasure with the concept."
Pesaturo said T Radio could come back with a new format, but he did not say when. MBTA general manager Dan Grabauskas had initially said the trial run would go until at least Thanksgiving, but Pesaturo said 1,800 e-mails gave staff enough feedback to realize most riders do not like it, at least in the current format.
The Boston Globe provided some of the content for T Radio and promoted its products between the songs, trivia, and snippets of celebrity gossip.
"The end of torture radio," Roslyn Klein said when she heard the news.
Klein, 60, heard T Radio every morning at South Station on her commute from Lowell.
"It’s 6:30 in the morning …I really think there is such a thing as noise pollution," Klein said.