New York City subway commuters keep their eyes glued to their smartphones usually, however, the MTA launched a new campaign called “Courtesy Counts” earlier this month that shows amusing signs to give riders something different to look at as they are shown proper subway etiquette.
These ads feature 12 images that outright shame riders for their gross/irritating behavior on the subway. While it may not stop people from doing what they usually do, they are fun to read.
The main goal of this campaign is to stop the issue of “manspreading,” which is when people spread their legs open wide to get comfortable on a packed subway. It’s not very space efficient, but maybe the $77,000 investment in ads isn’t the best way to get the job done either?
Some commuters have said they have seen people eat surprisingly large and complete meals on their ride to wherever they’re headed.
Although it’s hard to resist the urge not to, especially since many people are pressed for time before their work day begins, MTA is attempting to discourage people from having their sharp nail chunks get hurled at the poor passenger beside them and brushing their hair while simultaneously elbowing the same dude in the face.
Aiming this ad at a group of dancers that have been performing on subways to entertain travelers while getting some tips, many riders may not want this ad to work as directed since many of the commuters are actually highly entertained by the incredible performances which give them something better to do then scroll through Facebook meaninglessly on their phone.
The bummer is that even if this ad doesn’t stop performers from performing, Kevin, a subway acrobat who performs on the A and E lines, says he’s already been having trouble since the ads went up according to NY Post. Before the campaign he made about $80 a day, but now he’s only taking home $20. They’re not giving him as much money in the cars because of the discouraging ads. Some riders are upset that the MTA is not targeting panhandlers and musicians.
While the new campaign is basically yelling at us to say “Stop treating the subway like your extended bathroom and living room!” many New Yorkers argue that that’s exactly what it and what they intend for it to remain. Since mornings are madness in the city that never sleeps, the subway gives New Yorkers enough time to dab on some lipstick, make sure their hair and nails are clean and well-kept, and not die of starvation because they were too busy with work to remember to eat. That probably will never change, but it is worth noting that commuters should maybe be more respectful to their fellow riders and remember that their extended bathroom and living room is full of people that are forced to be as close as humanely possible to them.