The New York City transit strike last week, although crippled the entire city for 4 days, brought about some much needed marketing for the MTA and the TWU. Most importantly the strike prompted the MTA to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising expenses to make sure the people of the city of New York knew exactly who they were and what they did.
What they found was that apparently 33% of New York's population didn't even know we had a mass transit system. That's right. There are people walking these fine city streets without a clue as to what those elongated vehicles are that stop every other block. More specifically, they found that 84% of the 33% of the 1st 1,355 people they interviewed outside of the 18th precinct on 104th and Amsterdam thought that 19.5% of the time they spend on a NYC Bus they actually think they're Santa Claus 45% of the time. They found that these were also the passengers who were crack heads.
One guy interviewed outside of the 23rd street A,C,E subway station, who wished to remain nameless, was dumbfounded when told that down those stairs behind him were trains that you could ride all over the city. You should have seen the look on his face. He looked like he thought he was just going to fart but accidentily pushed out a big #2 in his pants. He thought the people who were walking down into the ground below the streets were "voluntarily putting themselves in hell". Interestingly enough we interviewed a person who actually rides the subway system everyday and they said the same thing.
By the time the strike ended and the ads were pulled the city was back to normal. Those who were inconvenienced by the strike hopefully can rest assured that the boat loads of money the MTA spent on public awareness campaigns was put to good use and not on subway cleanup to avoid track fires that kill newborn babies and the elderly. I see it everyday....it really is an awful sight.