If you’re like me, Twitter is your go-to while you’re waiting for BART in the mornings and need something to take your mind off of the grimy tunnel you're probably standing in . Unfortunately, Twitter hasn’t been quite the same since @Horse_ebooks was revealed to be the greatest viral marketing scheme of our generation and was subsequently abandoned by its creators. That’s a shame, because the daily dose of random nonsense garnished with the occasionally profound phrase was a highlight of my morning commute.
Luckily, San Francisco now has its own BART-themed _ebooks account, and it’s just as funny, weird, and slightly creepy as you’d expect it to be – much like some of the people you encounter while riding BART. It will also give you a whole lot more to think about the next time you find yourself waiting for the train.
The brainchild of London-based developer Aanand Prasad, @BART_ebooks posts photos of truncated text from BART’s passenger advisory displays and presents them without comment. These phrases, taken completely out of context from their original safety, security, or promotional messaging, present an alternate reality of our everyday transit system. The tweets range from the relatable, to the poetic, to the downright dystopian. Each new post is like a bite-sized look into a sci-fi novel, where the trains talk back to us.
The reinvention of seemingly mundane travel advisories as an ambiguous, at times existential, conversation from a transit system to its passengers gives you a lot to think about while you’re standing around waiting for BART. Next time you’re waiting to start your commute, you can ponder whether “Take BART to Sunday” is suggesting time travel (I’d do it!), or that last drunken ride home on Saturday night (meh, we’ve all done that.) If you’re feeling adventurous, start up a conversation with the person next to you and see what they think.