If you couldn’t tell from my Threads bio, I am a proud, born and bred Jersey girl. Though I love working in Manhattan, I love living in Hoboken even more.
The kind folks at the Port Authority of NY and NJ make it very easy for us Hobokenites to get into the city with the PATH train. I’m a big fan and would take it over the NYC subway any day for a couple of reasons:
- Ticket prices haven’t changed in several years, while the cost of NYC Metrocards continues to rise
- It’s much simpler than the subway system
- It’s (almost) always very clean
- Sometimes, when you’re running for the train and the doors have just closed, the conductors open it for you. I don’t see that happening in the city!
- We just got a fleet of brand new cars that are smooth and comfortable
As you might have guessed from the title of this post, it’s not all a love fest for me and the PATH. Another feature of the new PATH cars is TV monitors that loop NBC content – news headlines, clips from the network’s shows, short word games, a few ads, that sort of thing. At first, I thought this was great because it gives riders something to look at other than the person in front of them. It saves us from the awkward “Is that person staring at me or just staring into space?” situation. Also, it’s a great marketing opportunity since everyone is pretty much a captive audience.
Over time, I’ve found myself getting irritated with this content and sometimes even preferring to star into space (or, ok, fine, at my fellow passengers…) than to look at the screens. That may seem like an overreaction, but YOU try looking at the same Community clips or “which cup is Alec Baldwin under” game twice a day, day after day. I love those shows and my commute was actually making me resent them! The horror! My beef with the monitors is two-fold. 1 – They don’t change them often enough. 2 – Worse yet, there isn’t enough content for even half the ride, so it loops again and again. Come on people, give us some variety! If the content changed more frequently, I would actually appreciate it, making me more open to their marketing and ads. I might even walk off the train with a smile on my face and happy thoughts about NBC and their advertisers.
This issue is certainly not limited to the PATH trains – NYC cabs, in-flight entertainment and even elevator monitors, I’m looking at you too! Is this the greatest issue facing our nation? Probably not. But at the end of the day, I think it’s a missed opportunity to add value and engage with consumers while they are literally looking for a distraction.