LIRR Releases “Gap Rap” Video

For years, the Long Island Rail Road has been plagued with a major problem throughout the entire system, dangerous gaps. The problem has been highlighted in this blog & throughout the media numerous times whether it be in the form of accidents or deaths.

Yesterday, the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) continued its awareness campaign about this issue by releasing a “Gap Rap” video. Here are the complete details courtesy of a press release I received from them:

Don’t be surprised if you see bobbing heads and rhythmically moving feet when the MTA Long Island Rail Road’s medical director talks about his latest safety message to the railroad’s customers. Dr. John Clarke co-stars in a public service video he wrote called “The Gap Rap.”

Dr. Clarke exhorts customers to be aware of their surroundings as they travel on the railroad in his three-minute-plus lyric video poem. The fast moving, LIRR-produced rap video features Dr. Clarke, wearing his physician’s white coat, leading a group of fifth graders from Lindell School in Long Beach as they travel on the LIRR, in Manhattan, and on Long Island, all the while harmonizing to the beat as they remind us to “Look down, step over and watch the gap.”

LIRR President Helena Williams said, “Dr. Clarke’s innovative approach will help the LIRR continue to spread the word about gap safety. I’m hopeful this unique video will keep our gap message fresh and reach a wide audience, especially our younger travelers.”

Dr. Clarke, who captured wide media attention for his H1N1 Flu Rap,was enthusiastic about his new video, “I recognize that gap accidents are quite preventable. I knew that Health-Hop would be a perfect way to spread the message and make an impact.”

Long Beach School District Lindell School Principal Karen Sauter, whose students participated in the video, said, “ We’re proud that Mr. Gill’s class along with teaching assistant Ms. Geraghty and their students were able to participate in this video. We hope that it raises peoples’ consciousness about the gap”.

So far in 2010 the LIRR has experienced a reduction in year-to-date (January 1-July 1) reported gap incidents of 15% (2010-33 gap incidents vs. 2009-39 gap incidents).

Dr. Clarke’s video is the latest effort by the LIRR to raise awareness of the gap and to help assure that the traveling public safely steps over this necessary space between trains and station platforms. Railroad initiatives have included special Be Train Smart brochures, posters, signs, and celebrity gap announcements at stations and by train crews.

The railroad has also made a concerted effort to reduce the gap through engineering and operating solutions. Since 2007, more than 121,000 linear feet of one-inch platform edging board has been installed at LIRR stations to help reduce the horizontal gap. In addition, where necessary, measures to reduce vertical platform gaps an average of three inches have been taken at 42 stations. Some 836 train cars have also been retro-fitted with two-inch threshold plates marked “Watch The Gap,” further reducing the gap space.

Dr. John Clarke is the LIRR’s Medical Director and Medical Review Officer. Wearing both his medical and song-writing “hats,” Dr. Clarke has combined his desire to effectively reach young people with medical information and his talent as a hip-hop song-writer and producer to create his own musical genre called “Health-Hop.” He was the winner last year of the U.S. Health Department’s nation-wide contest for the best H1N1 Flu public service announcement.

Here are the complete lyrics to the song courtesy of the same release:


Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!

Verse 1:

Yes, Dr. Clarke is back, I came to drop a rap,
‘Cause everybody needs to watch the gap!
Advice is what I can provide, so when you have to ride,
You’ll be safe where the gap is wide.
While waiting for a train, use your brain, clear your mind.
On the platform, stay behind the yellow line.
Listen to the Crew! Read the safety signs!
Step over the gap, look down every time.
Hold somebody’s hand, if you’re a kid, it’s important.
Ask the Crew to help, if you have trouble walking.
Look down, step over, use caution!
Not the time for reading, playing games, or even talking.
No pushing, no rushing, no running!
Walk forward on the train, let other people come in.
Never lean on the door, ‘cause it’s not for that.
Look down, step over, and watch the gap!


Verse 2:

Never crowd the door, when it opens keep it flowing.
Let people off the train before you try to go in.
Never touch the door while it closes or opens.
Never use your arm or bag to keep it from closing.
Don’t play on the train, when you ride on the train.
Stay safe on the train, when inside of the train.
Listen for announcements, open up your ear!
Stay alert, stay aware, it’s important that you hear!
Keep the walkway clear, no clutter on the floor.
No packages, bags, or stuff blocking the door.
No trips during trips, so here’s some more tips,
Avoid causing spills and drips, so no one slips.
Get with safety, get with this gap song.
Get there safely, while I get my rap on!
Yes, watch the gap when you’re on the platform.
Always look down! Don’t step over the gap wrong!


I must say this video was something I would not expect from the MTA. Hopefully people focus on the message & enjoy a different spin of it.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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