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MBTA says ‘exercise common sense’ after man brings Christmas tree on train

When you need a Christmas tree and you don’t have a car...
When you need a Christmas tree and you don’t have a car... (Ben Themo)

’Tis the season, apparently.

On the community forum Reddit this week, a Red Line rider said he was headed toward Davis Square during an evening commute when a man got on for a few stops holding a Christmas tree.

Although some might argue that bringing a tree onto the MBTA is akin to somebody taking up space by placing bags and other personal belongings on the empty seats next to them, it is not against the rules.

Still, the transit agency had some words to the wise for commuters.

“We ask that people exercise common sense when using the subway system,” said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an e-mail.

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Pesaturo said complaints about people lugging trees onto the subway are rare. He said the T’s customer service representatives have received no complaints about people transporting fir, pine, or spruce trees to their homes by train this year. He added that “the head of customer service who has been here at least seven years can’t recall any.”

“If you ride the subway regularly, ‘yule’ see tree carrying is not rampant,” he quipped.

But a scroll through social media, a hotbed for complaints from commuters unamused by the habits of their fellow straphangers, showed that tree-carriers have cropped up a few times in the last several years.

In 2014, a picture of a man standing proudly with a small tree at a Red Line stop was posted to Instagram.

“Turns out you can take a Christmas tree on the train,” the person wrote.

And in December 2013, one passenger noted the abundance of tree needles scattered on an MBTA vehicle. “It must be Christmas,” the person said.

A year before that, a man nearly made the naughty list for his tree transportation choice.

When asked if a passenger could potentially be kicked off a train or given a ticket for packing a tree into a crowded car to the chagrin of fellow riders, Pesaturo said such matters are handled on an individual basis.

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So, riders, if you see somone with a tree, maybe it’s best to turn that holiday cheer on high, and let it go, let it go, let it go.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.