This poster will soon adorn a train near you. (Click to enlarge.)
In mid-July, New York City Transit came under fire when word got out about the inactivity surrounding to a few planned anti-groping PSAs. According to reports at the time, the agency had been hesitant to launch an awareness campaign dues to fears that the ads could encourage copycat behavior.
Well, after The Post exposed this odd stalemate, the MTA has decided to act. NYC Transit is set to debut their new PSA — seen above — in train cars throughout the city. This ad will run for at least the next three months. “We think the poster sets the right tone, and provides our female customers the information they need — which is namely that they shouldn’t tolerate such criminal behavior and that they should report it,” Paul Fleuranges, NYCT spokesman, said in an e-mail. “It’s a message that not only applies to women, but also to men who may witness such behavior.”
In explaining the decision to proceed with this ad campaign despite the original copycat concerns, Fleuranges noted that the benefits of this PSA far outnumber the negatives. “The possibility of instigating this type of unwelcome behavior is far outweighed by putting out the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the system and is viewed by us and the NYPD as being an extremely serious crime,” he said. “In and of itself the card may not stop all of it, but hopefully we can help put a dent in these occurrences.”
Holla Back New York City, a long-term proponent of these ads, is pleased to see one of their goals realized. They have been pressing the issue since well before Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s 2007 survey found that nearly two-thirds of all women experienced subway harassment. There is little doubt in my mind that displaying these ads is right thing to do.