New York, Queens, Court Square subway platform, 7 Line train with commuters

Source: Jeff Greenberg / Getty

The MTA‘s latest campaign could help with the ridership rates.

One of the world’s largest (and oldest) modes of mass transportation is currently down 70% because of the coronavirus, so you may have missed the iconic phrase “stand clear of the closing doors” heard over the loudspeakers. But now, the MTA is making their way into the new decade by getting iconic New Yorkers to utter the phrase with the help of @NewYorkNico (Nicolas Heller), the “unofficial talent scout of New York City.”

Nico revealed the campaign on his Instagram Monday, and as a New Yorker, he’s excited to get the project underway.

“After years of wanting to make this happen, I am so proud to announce I am partnering with the @mta to create new subway and bus announcements with iconic NY’ers for the start of 2021,” he captioned the photo. “Imagine hearing your favorite NY’ers reminding you about subway etiquette and COVID safety every time you ride the train…”

Heller explained that his own dream list of iconic New Yorkers to lend their voice to the MTA includes Robert De Niro, Jerry Seinfeld, Rosie Perez, Desus & Mero, and Debi Mazar. However, he wants to get everyone in on the campaign and is taking suggestions to see who else should take part.

“Rather than personally choosing all the lucky voices for this project, I felt it was important to open it up to you all. So let me know… Who deserves the high honor of being a voice of the MTA?” he writes. “Please comment below with NY icons that you would wanna hear every time you ride the train. If you see someone you agree with, give the comment a ❤️. THANK YOU NYC!”

He added that those participating won’t be getting a check because they’re doing it for the culture.

Saran Fienberg, the interim president of the MTA New York City Transit Authority, thinks the new voices are a great way to welcome straphangers back as people begin taking the train regularly again.

“As we work to bring customers and our city back, what better combination than two New York originals teaming up to do just that,” Sarah Feinberg, interim president of the MTA New York City Transit, said. “New York City Transit is thrilled to work with New York Nico to bring the voices of iconic New Yorkers into the system.”

Be sure to hop in Heller’s comments to let him know who you think should make the cut, so all five boroughs are best represented.

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