Yesterday we noted that there’s a new MTA ad hanging around that demonstrates exactly how the MTA tends to mess up with their publicity attempts. That ad reminded us, much like a guilt-mongering mom, “Improvements don’t just happen.” Unfortunately, in lieu of fare hikes and service cuts, this kind of begs the question: What improvements, exactly?
Now we learn, via the New York Times, that the MTA is ending their literary quotes program, Train of Thought, which followed Poetry in Motion in trying to bring some semblance of elegance to our daily commute — you know, the quotes by famous writers that your eyes would occasionally light on while trying to avoid a shared glimpse with a crazy person? — in order to give space to talk MORE about MTA improvements. SubTalk will also be no longer. Bye, SubTalk.
Reports the Times,
Officials at the authority said that, for now, they needed the space to showcase their newly redesigned customer service ads. The new campaign replaces the “Going Your Way” and “Sub Talk” mottos with a new slogan, “Improving, Nonstop,” and showcases digital countdown clocks and the installation of new security cameras, among other initiatives.
While the loss of quotations to read on the subway doesn’t make our literary heart ache too terribly badly (we can fairly easily compensate for that loss with our own books and magazines), nor do we especially mourn SubTalk, we wish the MTA would learn one of the key lessons taught to us as children by our own guilt-mongering mom — show, don’t tell. By that we mean, improvements on a poster are way less interesting than improvements in real life, poetical or otherwise. As Mom used to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2010