Red Line operator tells commuters to go vote, sings ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’

Boston Globe | Nov. 6, 2018 | By Steve Annear

It was a spot of sunshine on an otherwise dreary and wet election day with a lot at stake at the polls.

An MBTA Red Line operator Tuesday morning delivered a heartfelt message over the loudspeaker as commuters prepared to exit the train, garnering praise for her impromptu speech.

As the Ashmont-bound train neared Park Street around 8 a.m., the operator — T officials identified her as Gwen McLean — took the opportunity to remind departing passengers to be good to each other and offered her blessings to those on board.

She then sang a few lines from the song “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” before urging people to get out and vote in the midterms.

McLean ended her dispatch with this: “Let’s have a bright and sunny day. I wish you all a wonderful, wonderful week. And again, I do thank you for your ridership.”

The unscripted advisory was well-received by those on board. One person in a train car that a Globe reporter happened to be riding on began to clap. Others simply smiled.

Passengers took to Twitter to thank McLean, who has been working for the T for 10 years, for injecting a bit of positivity into their daily morning commute.

“Gratitude to the Red Line conductor who made the usual ‘thank you for riding the T’ announcement, including a blessing of ‘hope, peace, joy, love, but most of all, love,’” one person wrote, “then sang ‘What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love.’”

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