Whoring Out Subway Trains To Pay The Bills
It’s about damn time the MTA came up with a winning idea. Having private corporations plaster entire trains with advertisements is genius. (I thought of this myself, but I don’t think I ever verbalized it.) The Hyatt has turned this 42nd Street Shuttle (S)train into the “Mobil Lobby” at Hyatt Manhattan. I think the seats are cool, it adds an extra layer to the illusion and something like this is extremely inexpensive to do. It’s the same stuff you use to refinish your kitchen cabinets only on a grander scale. This is an, previously untapped, resource that the city can use to generate income. Our trains are our biggest commodity, they can really become walking billboards. Every train has about 5000 square foot of exterior surface space, aka: money in the till. You never know this could help to stave of the impending transit hike(s) coming up these next years. If this idea really takes hold, it would be like the city coming full-circle from the grafitti days of the 70 and 80s. Back then, tagged-up train cars were a nuisance, an eyesore, now Big Business is gonna pay the big bucks to tag their name on our trains. Let’s do it. But I don’t just want to see hotels and the like, I want to see tv promos and political ads.. I want to see if Emporer, excuse me, Mayor Bloomberg has enough gall to convert a train into the “Bloomy Express” for a day. That’s a moot point with just 3 weeks left in the Mayoral race, but I would like to see straphangers’ reaction if train cars became canvases bumper stickers. That’s definitely a conversation-starter, that would even make a New York talk to a stranger.
Something about this experience did unnerve me, though. It had nothing to do with the ads: Every train car had street-preahing Bible nuts… “Yes, yes The Rapture, Damnation, burning for eternity…I think they’re doing reruns…” I thought that all of the preachers were part of the Hyatt installation, because everyone sitting down was reading the pamphlets and engaged in the rhetoric.. I didn’t know what to think, it was a really “Twilght Zone moment” Besides being noise-violators and overall asses, these Jesus freaks littered the entire train with their flyers and such. They just walked of the train fulled with the Holy Spirit, only to leave all of that crap for the MTA workers to deal with, or to catch on fire when they land in the subway tracks.