clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


The MTA’s $20M plan to reduce subway delays includes these directional floor mats

New, 23 comments

Gee thanks, MTA

Photo by Scott Lynch / Gothamist

If you live in or have recently visited the Big Apple, you may be familiar with this phrase: “We’re experiencing train traffic ahead of us. We apologize for any inconvenience.” I have actually memorized this phrase because I hear it nearly every other day on the way to work. The F train got stuck and nearly suffocated riders in the summer heat, and then the A train derailed and injured dozens of people. The MTA delays have gotten so bad that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had to declare a state of emergency for the subway in June.

As part of the MTA’s $20 million plan to repair the nearly century-old transit system, it’s now installing a solution so simple, it’s amazing how this eluded us clueless straphangers this whole time: directional floor mats. The arrows point left, right and straight ahead, guiding passengers where to move into the train.

“The arrows encourage customers to move into the train and away from the doors in order to improve dwell times at stations,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told the New York Post. The mats are currently being tested on two C trains. “Allowing customers to board and unload trains in a streamlined manner is key to reducing the amount of time a train needs to stay in a station.”

Never mind that the public company, overseen by the NY state government, is in massive debt ($36.7 billion as of last October) and can’t sustain the over 1.7 billion riders that use the train annually. These ingenious floor mats surely solve the problem.