Northeastern University’s College of Engineering has been selected by an ad hoc committee of concerned citizens, infrastructure experts, and state legislators to take over the day-to-day operations of the MBTA.
Committee spokesperson Jill Valentine announced the move in a press conference on Tuesday, telling reporters that the college’s 100-year record of excellence in teaching, research, and community service factored heavily in the group’s decision.
The college, she said, will manage all rail, bus, boat, and subway services.
Fares for the general public will remain the same, but all Northeastern students, faculty, and staff will receive a 50 percent discount on daily passes for the Green Line, whose E branch stops at the university.
Engineering professor Barry Burton noted that the college’s immediate goal is to build a next-generation fleet of high-speed trains, a task that has been assigned to some 50 students. Their co-op experiences in construction management, transportation, and environmental engineering, he said, will serve them well in every phase of the project, from conceptualization to implementation.
Leon Kennedy will draw on his co-op with the New York Transit Authority to lead the train-building team, whose other members include Chris Redfield, E’17, Albert Wesker, E’18, and Ada Wong, E’19. “Co-op has prepared me for this moment,” said Kennedy, E’18. “Having the chance to ride a train that I designed will be a dream come true.”
Another project, which is currently in the planning phase, will serve the transportation needs of Northeastern students, faculty, and staff. A campus-only train—branded with images of the university’s new mascot, Bartholomew the Blue Lobster—will pick up community members from the Marino Center and drop them off at one of three locations: Snell Library, International Village, or Ryder Hall. Northeastern students will design the train, whose track will be laid by a super-efficient machine.
“Walking is overrated,” said Kenny Powers, an incoming first-year student whose professional baseball hopes were crushed in T-ball when he refused to get up off the bench and play the field. “I can’t wait to ride this lobster thing.”
This article is part of Northeastern’s 2015 April Fools’ Day coverage.