NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has launched a new button campaign urging customers to move their feet and give up their seats for pregnant riders, seniors, and those with disabilities.
The program began on Mother’s Day Sunday and will run through Labor Day. The MTA already provides priority seating on buses and trains where riders must give up their seats under federal regulations and MTA rules.
But the new courtesy buttons can help riders better identify which customers need seats, the MTA said. The campaign also urges customers to give up any seat – not just priority seating – to customers wearing the buttons.
One of the buttons reads, “Baby on Board,” in the style of the signs that have been seen in the back windows of cars going back decades. Another reads, “Please offer me a seat.”
“Pregnant riders, seniors and those with disabilities often need seats more than others but their condition may not always be visible,” MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said in a news release. “We hope this campaign will help their fellow riders to be more willing to offer them a seat without having to ask a personal question first.”
Transport for London has had a similar program for the London Tube since 2005, and Dutchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton herself wore a “Baby on Board” button in 2013.
The New York program is the first of its kind in the United States, the MTA said.