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'Poetry in Motion' Expands to NYC Taxi Fleet

Last month, we brought poems back to the subway. Now they're coming to taxis too.

The MTA, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, and Poetry Society of America are expanding Poetry in Motion to the city's yellow taxis.

Taxi riders will be able to see silent 15-second animations of Poetry in Motion selections on television screens as they travel in taxis. After a brief introduction, taxi riders viewing the default channel on taxi monitors will see the Poetry in Motion animation appear as part of a 12-minute loop of content that is refreshed every two hours. The positioning of the poetry within the loop will vary.

Poetry in Motion image

"I believe our 600,000 daily taxicab passengers will very much appreciate the gift of poetry," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chair David Yassky. "Just as history buffs will appreciate the fact that this is the very first inter-modal synergy between taxicabs and the subway system in the 104 years that 'traditional' taxicabs have served the city. So, enjoy your poetic taxi trip, because it signals the beginning of a beautiful friendship!"

"I am delighted to be partnering with the TLC and Poetry Society to expand Poetry in Motion beyond the MTA network for the first time," said MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota. "Poetry in Motion was so popular with our customers that they demanded that we bring it back. I think it will be equally appreciated by taxi riders."

The poems are selected by the Poetry Society of America, partners in the program since its inception in 1992, in collaboration with MTA Arts for Transit. In addition to context, aptness, and literary merit, the selections for Poetry in Motion seek poets who reflect the diversity within New York. As poems are selected, MTA Arts for Transit pairs them with art from its more than 230 artworks installed in subway and railroad stations.

"What a joy to see the beloved Poetry in Motion program expanding to reach the ridership of taxis in New York," said Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America. "Taxis! The emblem of our busy lives!!"

The second poem to be included in the newly relaunched Poetry in Motion is "Noche de Lluvia, San Salvador," by Aracelis Girmay. It appears with the artwork Stream (2001), by Elizabeth Murray. As the Poetry in Motion program adds roughly two new poems every three months, the new poems will appear in both the subway and taxis virtually simultaneously.