MTA Gets in On Millennial Bashing

MTA Countdown Clock
“Yeah, 58 minutes! So? Entitled brats!”

“The Millennials’ expectations are really things that we thought were luxuries when we first rode the system but they think are entitlements—and they are our customers,” the chairman and CEO of the MTA said at a conference yesterday, Gothamist reports. “They are a growing customer base. Countdown clocks in stations, more timely information. Improved technology is not a want. It’s a need.” Hey, it’s that familiar stereotype of young people today formulated by older people (this time a 61-year-old), about whom their parents said the same thing, and their parents’ parents about their parents, and so on. But, you know, maybe “improved technology” isn’t a perceived entitlement so much as something mass transit systems throughout the world are working on—in Boston, in London—because it only makes sense to apply new technologies to systems we rely on to function efficiently within the city? (“If you reduce that to ‘millennial entitlement,'” one Gothamist commenter writes, “it makes it easier to lag behind other systems in providing acceptable services.”) It’s less that young people expect institutions to cater to their technological addictions and more that they expect them to use relevant technologies to improve service (especially considering all the money we pay them), which then makes it better not only for the spoiled, bratty youths but also for everyone of every age and class who utilizes these services. That is, countdown clocks have a powerful psychological benefit for everyone. “Maybe it’s time to stop talking about what ‘Millennials want,'” Kristin Iversen wrote for us (just this week!), “and start talking about what we all need—much of which aligns pretty closely with the things young people are demanding be available for themselves.”

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


  1. “That is, countdown clocks have a powerful psychological benefit for everyone.”

    I’ve been on The T in Boston many times throughout my life. It has countdown clocks. I never noticed the “powerful psychological benefit” that I was supposed to obtain from such clocks.

    You know what would be a “powerful psychological benefit.”? New trains for the god damned red line as the current ones are WAY past their shelf life and are random death traps. Or maybe updating the green line so one can ride it and not go death from the screeching of the trollies themselves.

    Or maybe I’ve visited Boston too much and just don’t get what true millenials of lower NY want……..

  2. MTA is Crap. They act like we are there for their benefit instead of acting like a service provider. We can barely get service change signs and announcements let alone technologies that most cities have? San Francisco has had Live Bus arrival updates for years! MTA is a broken system that relies on a “It’s NYC Deal With it” BS attitude instead of taking service to a responsible level where it should be. God forbid I was a non-english speaking Tourist here on A Sunday… Could you imagine???


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