New York City’s Subway@theCenter of Commerce, Community, Culture, and Campaigns


May 9, 2024

Here at OUTFRONT, we are invested in New York City and our world-class transit system, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. We understand that New Yorkers rely on consistent public transportation; in today’s commuter era, we are more connected and engaged than ever as we move about the city. The busy on-the-go commuters include our own employees, our clients and partners, and the greater New York community. 

The New York Subway brings people together, and spreads people out. It is these constant expansions and contractions, like a beating heart, that keep the human capital flowing and the city growing. As New York continues to evolve, the subway remains as the one constant.
Perhaps the NYC Economic Development Commission said it best: “There is no city like New York. It’s the diversity. The dynamism. The ambition. The connectivity. The entrepreneurial spirit. The ecosystem of innovation. The booming tech industry. The center of culture. The center of commerce. The center of everything.” 

And the center of it all is the subway that carries New York’s economy on its back. 

Subway@theCenter of Commerce

New York is the #1 economic capital of the world and the #2 startup ecosystem. There are over 40 Fortune 500 companies headquartered here and we have the largest workforce in the United States. Customers and employees alike take the subway to and from places of business. In fact, 80% of all rush-hour commuters to New York City’s central business districts use transit (SOURCES: Investopedia, NYCEDC, RealPage, Fortune, MTA).

Ally Bank subway station domination
Subway@theCenter of Community

Whether living, learning, working, or playing, New York is dependent on the subway. It’s one of only a few 24-hour systems in the world and drives thriving urban development thrives in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The fact that 9 out of 10 NYC’s residents live under one mile from a station speaks to the city’s walkability.

      “New York City, where ambition and dreams collide in a dizzying dance of noise, color, and unending movement. It's a city of extremes. A city of towering skyscrapers and sprawling parks, of Wall Street tycoons and Broadway dreamers. And keeping it all together, a public transportation system as vast, complex, and captivating as the city itself.
      "The New York City subway is the city's lifeline, the pulsating rhythm to which this metropolis moves. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the trains rumble beneath the city's streets, connecting the far-flung corners of the five boroughs.”
      - Carson Sperry, GoodGoodGood
Beyonce Renaissance film train wrap and social media post about it
Subway@theCenter of Culture

As the #1 shared experience across NYC, the subway is where culture starts. Its high dwell times make the subway perfectly suited for delivering interactive opportunities via digital out of home and immersive experiences like engaging, shareable Station Dominations.

When Beyoncé launched her Renaissance concert film, AMC Theatres promoted it by wrapping the L train. The result was 3.3MM+ in earned social reach (SOURCE: Sprout) as the massive Beyhive fandom shared it widely on social media.

The subway is New York’s great equalizer. That’s why even celebrities, athletes, musicians, and influencers ride it. After all, even if you’re Sarah Jessica Parker, it’s still the quickest way to get around the city (as she told Howard Stern). 

      “New York City's public transportation is a reflection of the city's soul — chaotic, diverse, and always on the move. It's not just a way to get from A to B, but a unique life experience in its own right.”
      - Carson Sperry, GoodGoodGood
    But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some of OUTFRONT’s subway advertisers have to say:

    "The subway is the most impactful medium in New York City" - Heather Omanhe, Senior Marketing Manager NY/NJ, Cricket WIreless
    "It's hard to find all of New York in one place... But most people take the subway. It's great for us to reach our customers." - Katie Zapata, VP Brand Marketing, FreshDirect
    Subway@theCenter of Campaigns

    Our more flexible work schedules have revolutionized the commuter experience! We are in a new era and today’s commute allows more opportunity than ever to engage with brands. Along with our connected devices, digitization of the stations and subway cars provides new opportunities to engage with consumers and communities. That’s why the subway is at the center of brand and product launches, driving awareness, virality, and action.

    Over the past decade, OUTFRONT has been at the forefront of the digital transformation of commuter environments. And the New York subway is the intersection that connects brands with consumers in memorable and engaging ways. Media along today’s commute is digitally connected and enhanced with real-time dynamic data.

    As the circulatory system of New York, the MTA is North America’s largest transit network, moving 4 million daily trips (SOURCE: MTA), making New York’s subway truly the heartbeat of the city.

    The subway is at the center of commerce, community, and culture. Want worldwide impact? Put Subway@theCenter of your next campaign.

    Author: Victoria Mottesheard, VP Marketing, NY/East Region @ OUTFRONT
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