For the past few years, the MTA has decorated its turnstile arms at Herald Square with a variety of advertisements. Other transit agencies across the country had eked out some dollars selling sponsorships on their entry gates, and the authority had hoped to do the same in New York. The early ads never really spread beyond the busy 34th St. station though.
Over the last few days, however, I’ve seen the ads creep southward. Last week, when I arrived at West 4th St., I noticed blue wraps on the southern turnstiles. The ads — supporting New York’s anti-smoking campaign — are on the three turnstile arms on each of the entry gates at the West 3rd St. entrance to the station, and it’s a part of the MTA’s attempts to squeeze dry its advertising potential.
I posted the photo to my Twitter account earlier today, and one reader questioned the wisdom of these ads. Should the MTA be hosting advertisements that will make straphangers slow down to reach the ad info or jot down a phone number as they swipe through at a busy and hectic station? I’ll leave that one up to you, dear reader, to decide.