Secret admirers on the T can snap pictures of crushes from afar and upload them to BostonTCrush, a website launched on Tuesday that shares photos of attractive men.
Co-founder Stephen Motion said in an interview with The Daily Free Press that due to the success of its sister sites, London’s TubeCrush and New York’s SubwayCrush, it was easy choosing Boston as the third site.
“On launch day, we sat eagerly waiting for the web statistics and so far we are in the thousands,” Motion told The DFP from London. “We have been so overwhelmed at how much interest the site has gained both online and offline in the media and look forward to connecting people in the city of Boston.”
The site, BostonTCrush.com, features images captured from any person on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train, bus or subway in and around Boston, he said.
Motion said the idea for the site came to him and his roommates after watching a British television show in which women would rate the attractiveness of men. This prompted one of his friends to share a picture of a guy she took on the subway.
From there, the idea of TubeCrush was born and they bought the domain the same night and set up a blog, Motion said.
“Our Crush sites are designed to make connecting chance encounters on the T easier,” Motion said. “It should be fun and jovial.”
To address possible harassment concerns, the site institutes moderation procedures “to ensure the comments and interactions with the site are fair and portray the subject in a positive light,” Motion said.
Although Motion said the site also directs users to follow the photo policy outlined by the MBTA, officials said the transit system does not support the site.
“The MBTA does not endorse this effort, nor does it have the legal authority to restrict it,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to be featured on the site can remove their photograph using our photo removal form,” Motion said.
Based on Google Analytics, Motion said, the team has been able to see the cultural differences in train travelers.
While London travelers rarely speak to each other on the train, New York travelers have been known to ask people if they can take their picture for a website, which then strikes up conversation, Motion said.
He said they even helped set up dates as a result of chance encounters with others that allow riders to “track down someone” on TubeCrush.
As for plans for the future, the team looks forward to many developments, including a smartphone App and a fourth site in Spain, Motion said.
Boston University students would be prime targets as both photographers and models for the new site, as many ride the T frequently.
BU College of Arts and Sciences senior Mae Al-Kalamchi said she does not think BostonTCrush should be a major issue right now compared to the more serious ones around the world.
“It’s just for fun, but I mean, it’s not to be taken seriously,” she said.
Al-Kalamchi said people could snap pictures out of boredom on the T and she would not be surprised if it caught on at BU.
“Facebook caught on,” she said. “Even ‘Jersey Shore’ caught on.”