In a new online survey, the MTA asks customers how much they care about the ways it communicates and serves riders.
Those who use the subways are asked to prioritize their interest in several intiatives, including ticket purchasing on computers and cellphones, due in 2019; train-tracking apps hosted by the MTA and others; countdown clocks; and MetroCards that refresh automatically via debit or credit cards.
Finding out what your customers want is wise, but this is bizarre. It’s as if a restaurant asked customers, “How important is high-quality food, service and a smooth payment process?” Why not just focus on doing those things well?
But the MTA’s initial questions were actually less laughable than the second half of the survey, which asks respondents to rate 13 slogans for how well they would “resonate with the MTA’s efforts to improve the customer experience.”
These are open invitations to ridicule, not just because they are so bland and meaningless, but because they actually seem to highlight the MTA’s weaknesses. And they just beg for parody. Even we couldn’t resist.
Here are the MTA’s new “theme line” ideas.
- “Moving Forward For You”
- “Your Ride, Every Day”
- “A New Day, A Better Ride.”
- “Keeps New York Moving”
- “We’re Going There”
- “Stronger. Better. Faster.”
- “Always Moving You Forward”
- “Good to Go”
- “Let’s Go”
- “It’s Everybody’s Ride”
- “Getting it Done”
- “Driven By You”
- “It’s Go Time”
And here are ours.
- “Moving Forward for You . . . Pretty Soon”
- “Whatcha Gonna Do, Drive?”
- “We’ll Get There When We Get There”
- “What’s That Smell?”
- “We’re Taking You for a Ride”
- “MTA: Better Days Are Always Seven Years Away”
- “What’s the Rush?”
- “Rats Eat Pizza Free”
- “Watch the Gap . . . Between Arriving Subways”
- “Always at Your Service, Out of Service”
Again and again, particularly when troubles arise, riders complain that communications are terrible, not necessarily because the systems don’t work, but because the MTA does not put out timely, accurate and useful information. It has promised to do better for decades, but never seems to manage it.
Doing better is where the MTA needs to focus its efforts — not on asking whether obviously important services are important, or befuddling riders with goofy slogans.
Tweet your suggested marketing slogans for the MTA to #mtaslogans or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish the best ones.