The recent upgrades that have made the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) buses and trains run on more efficient schedules were not, in fact, the work of the MBTA itself. Instead, the changes were found to be the work of a four-year-old nonvocal autistic boy from Somerville named Jerry Adams.
“There were many changes going on during the pandemic,” explains Dave Laureton, head of technology at the MBTA. “Everybody assumed that another department had done it.”
“I love it,” gushed Edith Young of East Arlington. “There are no more bunching buses, and the apps are accurate about when the next train or bus will come. I was so happy that the MBTA had done this.”
Laureton enjoyed getting the accolades but thought it strange when nobody would take the credit. Eventually, he was curious enough to trace the IP address. It turned out to belong to young Mr. Adams’ iPad, which he primarily uses as a communication device.
“But that’s impossible,” Harriet Adams, his mother, said. “There are parental controls on it!”
When questioned, Jerry quickly showed his parents that he knew all of their passwords, including the ones to their bank accounts, and that he could navigate the Internet with ease, despite the fact that he has never been taught how to read.
“Train late. Bus late. Daddy mommy mad sad late stupid,” Jerry said via his communication app. “Easy. H A C K I N G fun. Peppa Pig.”
The new schedules are working out so well that the MBTA has decided to keep them in place for now. Jerry’s parents have given up on restricting his access to the Internet, although they stopped doing any online shopping after he ordered $2000 worth of Peppa Pig merchandise from Amazon.
“If he doesn’t end up in jail for computer espionage, we can’t wait to hire him when he turns 18,” Laureton said.