MTA distributing 'Baby on Board' buttons as part of new awareness campaign

Baby on Board badge not just for cars in New York

Baby on Board badge not just for cars in New York

Officials also hope the campaign helps with encouraging more riders to offer seats to those who need them.

While the MTA already sets aside "priority seating" on subways, buses, and trains for disabled passengers, the campaign encourages riders to give up any seat to someone wearing one of these MTA-issued buttons.

Mother's Day - and running through Labor Day, the MTA will be giving out pins reading "baby on board" and "please offer me a seat" as part of a pilot program. Since 2005, Transport of London has distributed about 130,000 "Baby on Board" badges.

"Pregnant riders, seniors and those with disabilities often need seats more than others, but their condition may not always be visible", Ronnie Hakim, the authority's interim executive director, said in a statement.

In an effort to keep New Yorkers from being discourteous, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is introducing buttons that will encourage commuters to give up their seats to pregnant riders.

According to NY transit officials, "As with London's system and many other MTA "Courtesy Counts" messages (such as "Don't Be a Pole Hog" and "Stop the Spread"), this awareness campaign will be self-enforced and not linked to any penalties".

The MTA is releasing the free button, as well as one that says, "Please offer me a seat", as a pilot program of its "Courtesy Counts" initiative. The campaign was made famous when Duchess Kate Middleton wore a button while she was pregnant.

"There's no question that this campaign will help pregnant women, disabled passengers and seniors who use public transit", New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said. A doctor's note is not required. Recently, a man got up for her, and she handed him the trophy.

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