Simotas Calls on MTA to Make Voice Announcements in Multiple Languages

The National Herald Archive

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas. (Photo: NYS Assembly)

ALBANY, NY – Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, in a letter to the President of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, requested automated voice announcements be made in multiple languages, which would disseminate information across all our New York City Transit systems and effectively reach the more than 4.25 million New Yorkers who speak a language other than English.

Across the world, cosmopolitan cities like Paris, Belgium, and Luxembourg have adapted their announcements to better serve their communities. This then begs the question, Simotas wrote, why is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world so far behind?

“Currently, the MTA only provides automated voice announcements in English even though it is home to 1.9 million Spanish speakers, 419,000 Cantonese and Mandarin speakers, 186,000 Russian speakers, 106,000 French Creole speakers, 81,000 French speakers, and 200,000 New Yorkers who converse in an Indic language, like Hindi, Urdu or Gujarati.

“Providing announcements in multiple languages would eliminate confusion amongst the many riders who benefit from our transit system and would allow our system to run more effectively,” Assemblymember Simotas said in her April 16th letter to Metropolitan Transit Authority President Andy Byford.

“New York City is a melting pot oozing with culture and spirit and it is time that our transit system reflects that. Now with new sources of revenue for the MTA capital plan lockbox and billions in additional financing support for MTA projects, it is the perfect time to finally create a multi-lingual transit system that better serves the riders,” Simotas said.

The full text of the letter can be read here: