You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Metro

Charlie steps out, as the MBTA unveils a mascot

Boston’s first mascot for mass transit was a horse named Old Billy. By far the best known of the city’s 8,000 streetcar horses before electricity, he achieved international attention for his longevity and durability. Old Billy labored 30 years, logged more than 125,000 miles, and never took a sick day, before enjoying a decade of semi-retired celebrity.

The MBTA’s newest mascot, a plush character named Charlie who debuted Wednesday, is a show horse, not a workhorse. Without peripheral vision, he needed a team of handlers to avoid falling onto the tracks or getting hit by a car on his first day. He also took frequent hydration breaks, ducking out of sight to remove a giant felt head that sealed in the summer heat.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week