NYC Transit Starts Anti Scratchiti/Advertising Pilot Program

A few days ago the New York Times ran a piece which picked up on a story that originally appeared in The Gothamist. The story referred to the anti scratchiti/advertising pilot program that MTA New York City Transit has started. The program calls for ads to cover up the windows inside the subway cars to discourage vandals from destroying them with graffiti. Let me first share a part of the New York Times piece written by Jennifer Lee:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority continues to find new ways to rent its subway real estate to advertisers. Joining the tunnels, station stairs, columns, subway insides, subway outsides, station turnstiles: subway windows.

As Gothamist pointed out last week, red Coca-Cola ads are now covering a number of subway windows, as part of a 30-day pilot program. They are being used on a single eight-car A train where four of the cars have ads covering their large windows (though not their door panes). None of the windows on the other four cars are covered.

Despite the M.T.A. budget shortfall, transit officials say that advertising revenue is not the main motivation for the program. Instead, the sprawling ads have a practical purpose. The first is to reduce what officials call “scratchiti,” or scratched graffiti on the windows.

Click here for the complete article.

I must say this is a terrible idea. I understand & applaud the MTA for looking at ways to reduce the destruction of their property while also bringing in revenue at the same time. However there is a time & place where you have to realize that the overall safety of your riders is more important than saved destruction & new revenue.

I have not had the chance to ride this specific A train that is being tested out with the ads. However from the initial pictures I have had the chance to view, it looks dangerous. The MTA claims there are no safety concerns as riders can see in & out of the windows. However regardless of what they say, one can safely assume that this is a case for legitimate concern for safety & convenience.

If I am standing on the platform, I would like to be able to get a clear view of the car I might soon enter. I do so to not only determine where I could potentially find a seat but have the ability to scope who is in the car itself. If my vibes tell me that one car has some questionable characters, I would be more inclined to enter a different car. Even if I could see through these ads like they claim, I know it would not be as clear of a view as a normal car window.

I feel that overall this program poses too much of a potential security threat along with a sense of uneasiness due to the perceived lack of visibility. I hope they find a better way to raise revenue along with preventing scratchiti as this is not the best solution.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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