Home MTA Absurdity Imagining an MTA 311 call center

Imagining an MTA 311 call center

by Benjamin Kabak

On Tuesday, the MTA announced plans to open their own 311-styled call center. A press release announced this innovation:

One of the customer needs identified by the MTA’s Customer Service Initiative is easy access to streamlined information. As MTA customers increasingly use more than just one of the MTA’s operating agencies on a regular basis, information should be centralized and seamless. The MTA is exploring a plan to create one designated customer service phone number, similar to 311, where MTA customers would reach a call center that could provide seamless transportation information for all MTA services.

I can only imagine what the calls between a confused straphanger-to-be and the MTA’s 3-1-1 would sound like…


Caller: Hello? Hello? I’m at Union Square and I want to get to Central Park. What’s the fastest way?
MTA 3-1-1: Take that train.
Caller: Which train?
MTA 3-1-1: That one. The express.
Caller: We’re on the phone. I can’t see you pointing. And there are four different express trains here.
MTA 3-1-1: Ok. Hold on.
Pre-Recorded Hold Voice: We apologize for the unavoidable delay.
MTA 3-1-1: Ok. Take the L.


Caller: Help! Help! I’m being attacked!
MTA 3-1-1: ::Does Nothing::
Caller: Help! I’m being dragged!
MTA 3-1-1: ::Presses panic button::
MTA 3-1-1: ::Cowers in silence::


Caller: I’ve been standing out here in Astoria waiting for the train for 20 minutes. Can you tell me what’s going on?
MTA 3-1-1: Stand clear of the closing doors please.
Caller: There’s no train here! I can’t stand clear of the doors.
MTA 3-1-1: We apologize for the unavoidable delay. The train will be moving shortly.
Caller: What train?
MTA 3-1-1: We are being held in the station by the train’s dispatcher. We should be moving shortly.
Caller: WHAT $*#@#* TRAIN?!
MTA 3-1-1: We apologize for the unavoidable delay.

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1 comment

Marsha June 7, 2007 - 10:48 am

LOL, especially the last one.


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