Some MBTA bus passengers will be treated to free rides courtesy of L.L. Bean today through Saturday. But buses wrapped in advertisements resembling shipping boxes won’t be free for the following three weeks of the promotion — which the company is paying the T $180,000 for, plus another $36,000 to decorate the buses.
“Yes, I think there is going to be some confusion,” L.L. Bean spokeswoman Laurie Brooks said last week. “It’s been going crazy on Twitter. I’m going to have to stay on top of it to make sure people know it’s just L.L. Bean buses that are free and not all those buses on those routes.
“There might be some confusion, but when you get on the bus the fare box will be covered and say ‘your ride is free.’ At that end of the week that will be gone and you’ll have to pay your regular fare.”
The Maine-based clothing company is wrapping 10 buses on the T’s eight busiest routes to launch everyday, standard, free shipping.
“This is sort of free shipping forever to the U.S. and Canada with no end date and no minimum order,” Brooks said. “We wanted to do a kickoff closer to home, that’s why we chose Boston. Boston has a large L.L. Bean fan base.”
MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera said similar promotions have been done in the past 11 years — but on subway lines, for one day.
“A lot of customers do hold monthly passes,” she said. “And if there’s confusion, they are told. I don’t think people are going to approach [the driver to complain about] no fare.”
“I don’t see any confusion, honestly.”
Hitchin’ a ride
Today through Saturday, customers can ride buses that look like L.L.Bean shipping boxes for free on:
» Route 1: Dudley Station to Harvard Station
» Route 9: City Point/South Boston to Copley Station
» Route 47: Central Square, Cambridge to Broadway Station (via Longwood Medical)
» Route 57: Watertown Yard to Kenmore Square
» Route 66: Harvard Square to Dudley Station
» Route CT1: Central Square to B.U. Medical Center
» Route CT2: Sullivan Station to Ruggles Station
» Route CT3: Beth Israel Deaconess to Andrew Station via BU Medical
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