As subway service suffers, transit vigilantism is thriving.
More saucy subway signage has popped up voicing commuters’ displeasure with the state of the MTA — this time in the form of a fake resignation letter from the authority’s chairman, laid out on a poster to appear like just another planned service change advisory.
“I quit,” reads the poster, taped to a streetlight just outside an entrance to 14th Street/Eighth Avenue subway station in Manhattan. “Find someone else to kick around.”
The letter is signed “Sincerely, J. L.,” the initials of MTA chairman Joseph Lhota.
The poster is one of a series called “Love Letters from the MTA,” from the blog “See No Evil.” Another, for the 1 line, simply reads, “Nope. Just turn around.” That advisory is in effect from 11:30 p.m. Fridays, to 5 a.m. Tuesdays, to be clear.
The writer behind the stunt, who declined to give their name because of the potentially “vituperative” nature of the MTA, said they were inspired by the day-to-day struggles that have become riding the subways, as well as by authors like Clifford Irving, the eccentric and reclusive novelist. The prankster said they have so far posted the flyers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“I hate to use a stock metaphor, but the subways are pretty much the veins and lifeblood of city. If people can’t get around for business, leisure or what have you then you’re going to see that reflected in other areas,” said the blogger, who resides in Brooklyn and prefers to go by their nom de plume, Blind Monkey. “I think, like any of my projects, I’m inspired by what I interact with on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, like most people, I ride the trains and it had been on my mind.”
A few New Yorkers walking down Eighth Avenue stopped to give the sign a read on Tuesday.
“It did give me a little laugh. It’s definitely a funny little commentary on how messed up the train system really is. There are a lot of improvements to be made,” said passerby Ghari Price, 38. “I’ve definitely had to many a time leave even a good half-hour or even 45 minutes early just to play it safe. It just seems like there’s always something going.”
Last month, another fake poster appeared in the subways, reminding riders of interminable delays along their lines. “Your train is delayed, January 1 — December 31, Days, Nights, Weekend,” it read.
Few creative works could top the cover of The New Yorker from this past summer, though. The cartoon on the Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 print edition of the magazine, titled “Hell Train” from artist Bob Staake, depicts the devil operating a train engulfed in flames as it pulls into a 42nd Street station.