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Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

MTA launches courtesy campaign to offer seats to pregnant women, seniors

MTA launches courtesy campaign to offer seats to pregnant women, seniors

Pregnant women riding New York City's subway are being offered a new way to shame other riders into handing over their seats.

The yellow and blue buttons, complete with an official MTA logo, are the latest part of the agency's campaign to encourage New Yorkers to be polite to the riders crammed next to them on the train.

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to start handing out "Baby on Board" buttons to pregnant riders to help them get a seat.

Transport for London in 2005 launched a similar program for the Tube, as London's subway is known.

The MTA will distribute buttons to all users of our system and the initiative will be integrated into our existing courtesy campaigns via transit system advertisements and social media.

The goal is to raise awareness for pregnant women and people with disabilities.

"A little courtesy goes a long way", MTA Board Member Veronica Vanterpool said.

Hakim said the MTA would "continue to designate "priority seating" for riders with disabilities", but "this is another way to expand the availability of seating for those who need it most".

Can the buttons dissuade subway riders from being selfish monsters?

The pilot program in NYC, which began on Mother's Day and runs through Labor Day, could offer relief to pregnant subway riders who often face the uncomfortable choice of enduring a standing commute or awkwardly asking a sitting passenger for a seat. "This awareness campaign is another step we can take to help our riders and to encourage kindness throughout our vast system". It started with a "Baby on Board" pilot, which was later followed by a pilot for disabled customers. The campaign was made famous when Duchess Kate Middleton wore a button while she was pregnant.

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