Friday, January 7, 2011

Literature and the MTA

 Here is a fact for Friday, but today it is not fun: starting more or less immediately, literary placards on the subways will be replaced by ads.

As stated in the New York Times article from 12/20/10, the program called Train of Thought, which had replaced Poetry in Motion, will be discontinued.  These two programs have been running for a combined eighteen years.  Train of Thought shared literary quotations from Kafka and T.S. Eliot.  It was a great relief from the ads for bunion doctors and immigration lawyers that decorate subway cars.

The rational behind this change?  The MTA needed space for their promotional campaign.  And while it’s true that the MTA needs to do everything it can to make New Yorkers happy with the public transportation system, more advertisements do not provide the respite that a bit of poetry or quote might provide to someone traveling home after a long day.

I guess now we’ll just have to rely on the subway musicians to brighten our day…

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