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MBTA to spend Turner Broadcasting settlement proceeds on security improvements


A marketing campaign gone bad will help the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) beef up its security program.

The authority recently obtained a $630,400 settlement from Turner Broadcasting Systems, parent company of the Cartoon Network. In January, the network launched a marketing campaign for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters,” a movie based on the TV series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” The campaign involved posting dozens of small, LED-powered placards with an image of a cartoon character throughout several large cities, including Boston. On Jan. 31, an MBTA passenger spotted one of the devices and alerted an MBTA policeman, setting off a bomb scare throughout the city.

MBTA will use settlement proceeds to offset operational expenses incurred during the incident, which shut down the Orange Line for two hours during the morning commute. The authority also will allocate some funds to its “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which urges employees and passengers to report suspicious people or activities. Remaining proceeds will be used to replace two explosive detection unit vehicle for the MBTA Transit Police Department, purchase a van to transport security inspection equipment to inspection sites, and obtain equipment designed to improve the video forensics capabilities of MBTA’s Criminal Investigation Unit.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/20/2007