New Multimedia Campaign to target First Transit

On Sunday Boston University’s The Daily Free Press reported on a new multimedia campaign opposing privatization of the MBTA’s bus maintenance which will focus on the sole bidder for the contract: First Transit. The campaign was launched last Wednesday by MBTA bus mechanics and will emphasize First Transit’s poor performance record including a breach of contract with the MBTA in 2009 that left the city of Boston with a funding deficit of $66 million.

Regarding the new campaign that will utilize a variety of platforms including television, radio, print media, and online ads, Local 264’s business manager, Mike Vartabedian stated, “A lot of people don’t understand the magnitude of this privatization effort and the blasting, horrible effects that it will have on their essential transit system.”

Vartabedian told the paper he anticipates the ads will reach a large portion of the population leading to strong opposition to privatization from the public, stating,”We’re going to draw attention of the riders and the taxpayers, to let them know what the MBTA is considering to do or doing with their very reliable bus service.”

The independent student paper also spoke with a Boston University advertising professor, Judith Austin, who hopes that the campaign will encourage residents to put pressure on Governor Baker and other elected officials to oppose privatization. She stated, “The hair goes up on the back of my neck, because I believe government plays an important role in things . . . if you think about all the people that are commuting, their safety and their well-being is dependent on everything that has to do with this system.”

You can read the full story here.


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