Customers will now be able to hear new and authentic twists on many of the system's longstanding slate of announcements at roughly 400 subway stations, on thousands of subway cars, and on nearly 4,500 buses.
The reimagined announcements are aimed at injecting a dose of authentic New York swagger into the system and providing a morale boost and some much-needed humor for customers returning to the system as New York begins to recover from the pandemic.
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The announcement scripts were written collaboratively by Heller and team, MTA employees, and the celebrities themselves and are part of a broader partnership between the Authority and Heller, the celebrated Instagram personality.
"This is such an honor for me," Heller said. "Mass transit is the cultural lifeblood of our city, and partnering with the MTA to bring some joy into the system after the most challenging year imaginable is the least I can do to help with the system's broader recovery. The city's subways and buses, and the range of characters who ride them, have always been central to my work, and I'm so grateful that I could help bring some of the most recognizable voices of iconic New Yorkers to the system. The members of the MTA workforce have braved the pandemic and heroically moved essential workers throughout the pandemic. This is for them."
The audio recordings feature a wide range of prominent New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds, including Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg, and the rapper Cam'Ron.
Altogether, roughly 50 recordings will be launched over the course of the campaign.
This first phase of the collaboration will run in the system for at least a month, and the actors, musicians, broadcasters, and others involved in recording the scripts were encouraged to make the announcements their own, reflective of their personalities, and with special emphasis placed on the importance of mask usage during the pandemic.
"The New York City subway is more than a means of getting around the world's greatest city, it's the vital connector that brings New Yorkers of all backgrounds together," interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said. "In many ways, the subway system is the unifying force that brings us all together and will be a huge part of New York's comeback. No one understands the cultural significance of the system better than @newyorknico. This has been a difficult year for New York City Transit, but as we start to look beyond the pandemic, we hope this new set of announcements will remind our customers of what makes New York so special."
Announcements will come from over 25 iconic New Yorkers and appear throughout the system in the following order:
--Bob the Drag Queen
--The Kid Mero
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Whoopi Goldberg: "Hey, it's Whoopi Goldberg. Please remember to always wear a mask on the train and in the station. And remember to wear it the right way. Do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our city safe. 'Cause, honey, everybody wants to go out. Okay? Thank you."
Jerry Seinfeld: "Hi this is Jerry Seinfeld. Please do your best to practice social distancing on the train and in the station. Staying 6 feet apart is not only a great way to keep our city safe. Think how much you'll save not needing cologne. Thanks, New York.
Edie Falco: Hey New Yorkers, Edie Falco here. Getting a seat on a crowded train can feel like winning the lottery, but please be courteous. Offer your seat to someone who may need it more than you. And please wear your masks. Let's make courtesy the only thing that's contagious on the train. Thanks, New York.
Cam'ron: Ey yo check it out it's Harlem's own Killa Cam. Look, I don't care if you from uptown, downtown, Harlem, Switzerland, wherever. I don't care if you a chicken or a duck. And you know what? COVID don't care either. Are you wearing a mask? Ya, well is it covering your mouth and nose? Then good, you're doing great. Remember not only wearing a mask is the law. It's the right thing to do.
Awkwafina: Showtime! Just kidding, New York. It's your girl, Awkwafina. And no, I'm not here to do sweet dance moves or swing around a pole. Bummer, I know. But I am here to give you an important reminder: Please wear your mask at all times while on the train or in the station. Actually, just wear it whenever you leave the house. Thanks for helping to keep New York City safe, and have a great day.
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