If there’s one thing Bostonians excel at, it’s taking to Twitter to voice their complaints about the beleaguered MBTA.
MBTA Twitter has been busier than ever lately, and the frustration, many would argue, is justified. In recent months, there have been malfunctions, derailments, and crashes that caused injury or death. A July incident on an Orange Line train sent passengers scrambling out windows and one woman jumping into the Mystic River.
Now the Orange Line shutdown is the focus of online grievances. The repair work will last until Sept. 19 — a period during which the Green Line between Government Center and Union Square also is suspended.
While no significant issues were reported Monday morning — the first weekday commuters were navigating the closures — the disruption has caused headaches. And naturally, generated a wave of memes.
Here are some of the best ones circulating on social media:
The Boston Accent, a satirical local news site, had a darkly amusing take for those missing the Orange Line and its safety issues.
Some put an MBTA-centric twist on the latest meme dominating feeds. That would, of course, be the image of a young woman shouting in the ear of a guy she’s with. He seems less than enthused.
Two reporters used that template to joke about challenges and confusion surrounding the shutdown.
SO THERES GOING TO BE SHUTTLE BUSES BUT THEYRE NOT GOING TO STOP AT EVERY STOP AND YOU SHOULD PROBABLY TAKE COMMUTER RAIL IF YOU CAN BUT THERES ALSO GOING TO BE BLUE BIKES FOR FREE BUT I DONT KNOW IF YOULL BE ABLE TO FIND THEM SO YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST DRIVE BUT DONT DRIVE pic.twitter.com/lB9UTWXpLe— Jeremy Siegel (@jersiegel) August 21, 2022
One user imagined what a recorded message at the MBTA customer support line might sound like.
“Hi, you’ve reached the Orange Line. I’m out of service until September 18th. If you need to get somewhere during that time, please don’t. If you insist, there’s a shuttle bus or something,” the person tweeted.
The arrival of fall often brings with it Spirit Halloween shops popping up in empty storefronts around the city to sell costumes and spooky merchandise.
With Orange Line trains empty, it didn’t take long for Twitter users to have the retailer move in.
With so many people using shuttles to get around, jokes about the bus signs (and suggestions) couldn’t be far behind.
“This appears to be one of our shuttle buses. #heavenhelpus,” tweeted Karyn Regal, a reporter with WBZ, about one that had the message “Travel with the cross” stripped across the top.
Others made their own signs in response to the shutdown.
Steve Hoey designed a number of posters to help people “laugh through the pain” of the closure.
Some of the cheeky advice offered: “Have your driver pick you up early,” “Stay at your beach house,” and “Use your helicopter.”
Since these are helping some folks laugh through the pain of the @MBTA’s 30-day #OrangeLine shutdown, here’s a 🧵of posters I’ve made so far that summarize @MassGovernor @CharlieBakerMA’s advice for responding to this poorly-planned transportation meltdown:— Steve H (@just_steve_h) August 17, 2022
(h/t @melnickjeffrey1) pic.twitter.com/SlNIhDn5pO
Another person made a graphic where the end date of the shutdown just keeps going ... and going ... and going into the future.
Orange line on the T about to shut down for a month and our leaders are like “you might want to go stay at your house on the Cape for a bit.”— Jeff Melnick (@melnickjeffrey1) August 17, 2022
Brian Estabrook, who is behind the popular Twitter account Civil_War MBTA, has seized on the notion that navigating the transportation system is like going off to war. He returned to the platform after a two-year hiatus in July to fire off missives in the style of a Civil War solider writing diary entries and sending letters home.
“I fear it is only a matter of time before the waterways will also soon be impassable,” @MbtaWar tweeted ahead of the service disruption.
August 19th, 1863— Civil_War_MBTA (@MbtaWar) August 19, 2022
Rumors swirl and trust deteriorates. The halt of the @mbta #orangeline looms ominously; #mbta leadership has fled the city on Ironclad ferries. I fear it is only a matter of time before the waterways will also soon be impassable. pic.twitter.com/S3vqZXtDA8
I do think it’s funny how we talk about the orange line like it’s going off to war— Megan Johnson (@megansarahj) August 20, 2022
The throngs of reporters covering the shutdown have taken time to mock themselves, too.
While not necessarily a meme in the strictest use of the term, a group of local performers recently took to social media with their parody about the closure called “Charlie (Baker) on the MBTA,” which they performed on the platform of Back Bay Station.
They later followed it up with an encore, once again poking fun at the transit agency and its many problems.
We were on our way home from a jam in Boston and had a message for Governor Baker and the Orange Line shut down: "Charlie (Baker) on the MBTA"#boston #orangeline #mbta #publictransit #orangelinefire #30dayshutdown #charlieonthemta pic.twitter.com/UqDcN4TPNZ— Anna Seda (@viracochalvsbac) August 15, 2022
Are you an Orange Line commuter? Plan your alternative route
The tool assumes the closure of the Green Line Extension through North Station, which begins on Aug. 22. Additionally, MBTA officials have urged riders to look into local bus routes and bicycling for some of all of their trip. Bus stops and schedules can be found on the MBTA’s website.