Get us in your inbox

Search

These decals in the subway help riders social distance with a twist

In a whimsical touch, the MTA has included symbols for hoof prints, paw prints and other animal track marks.

Written by
Howard Halle
Advertising

The subway: Can't live with, can't live without it. That pretty much sums up the relationship between New Yorkers and their transit system—which can be, let's just say, a challenge to deal with on any given day, let alone during a pandemic.

New York City, subway, MTA, transit system, pandemic, masks, social distancing
Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Lahiff

The MTA has responded to the current crisis by requiring riders to wear masks, disinfecting trains daily (by among other things, blasting them with powerful UV rays) and posting bright yellow signage to remind passengers to social distance while riding.

Arguably the most important additions to the system are decals found on the edge of the platform and in front of MetroCard machines, marking six feet of distance for people to stand on. In what, perhaps, is an acknowledgement that humans aren't the only ones who ride the subway, the MTA has also included symbols for animals. 

New York City, subway, MTA, transit system, pandemic, masks, social distancing
Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York

As captured by photographer Ryan Lahiff for a story in Untapped Cities, these markers depict pairs of horseshoes, hoof and paw prints, along with representations of soles for various kinds of footwear (high heels, sneakers).

New York City, subway, MTA, transit system, pandemic, masks, social distancing
Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York

Intentionally or not, the MTA reminding us that our furry and feathered friends use the subway for their own purposes as well. Rats and bedbugs call it home, and pigeons (and the occasional raccoon) are known to hop on a ride at times. (Maybe because they're in a hurry to get somewhere?). Then, of course, there are people who bring dogs along with them and, although they are supposed to keep them in carriers, rarely actually do. 

New York City, subway, MTA, transit system, pandemic, masks, social distancing
Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Lahiff for Untapped New York

Whether useful or not, one thing is certain: the MTA is trying to keeps thing light during dark times—and we appreciate that.

Most popular on Time Out

- Here’s what will reopen in NYC during Phase 2
- NYC will pay youth $1,200 to take online courses this summer
- When will gyms reopen in NYC?
- This entire NYC street has been painted with murals of famous soccer legends
- When will hair salons reopen in NYC?

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next

        Advertising