Back in April, a straphanger spotted a transit worker finishing up putting a fresh coat of yellow paint on the edge of the Rockaway Ave C train station in Bed-Stuy during the rush hour commute. The inevitable ensued: people walked on the paint and ended up leaving yellow footprints all over the train that day. It's now over three and a half months later, and guess what? Yellow footprints are still there. Let's take at a look at the timeline:
April 26th: The day straphanger Josh Boerman encountered the infuriating paint job; he said at the time he wasn't surprised that people tracked it into the car—"By the time they noticed, it was too late and they didn't want to draw attention to it. Kind of like when you step in dogshit." Twenty-four hours later, he found a similar yellow footprint on another C train.
and a postscript. 24 hours later; totally different train in. guess what’s on the floor pic.twitter.com/IR8Zzwoswl
— bosh (@boshj) April 26, 2018
May 5th: It is now over a week since the initial sighting. A moment that perfectly encapsulated the MTA's seemingly limitless capacity for snafu has stretched far past the point any of us expected it would already.
the yellow footprints are still there and half the c train is making fun of how incompetent the mta is pic.twitter.com/a2gvmVvycW
— Erika W. Smith (@erikawynn) May 5, 2018
May 10th: My colleague Jen Carlson encounters the footprints in person, ecstatically declaring, "it was like seeing a nyc celebrity."
— Jen Carlson (@jenist) May 10, 2018
Also, someone came up with the perfect analogy for them:
The yellow footprints on the trains are very similar in comedic tone as the occasional blue hand print in background of shots of the Bluth model home.
— hi! it’s Alex Tracy from the movie Hairspray! (@aitracy) May 10, 2018
I'm in one of #CuomosMTA Yellow Footprint™ subway cars but a guy is standing on the footprints so I can't get a photo and I'm unreasonably distressed by this
— Kristen Bonardi Rapp (@kristenrapp) May 11, 2018
August 13th: And here's where we are truly gobsmacked. It's been 109 days since the initial incident, and it appears that there are still remnants of the yellow footprints. How often...does the MTA...clean the floors...? (We've contacted the MTA about how often the C train is cleaned, and will update if we hear back.)
Spotted an old friend on my commute today... is paint this hard to remove or has the MTA not cleaned these floors since at least May? pic.twitter.com/iBueoEb5Pm
— Jen Carlson (@jenist) August 13, 2018
I was reading these tweets on the train and looked down and 😱 pic.twitter.com/8FzJ1zgTln
— Alice Roth (@aliceroth) August 13, 2018
Will they still be there in three more months? Does anyone want to get some nail polish remover and help the MTA out? Should we add "yellow footprints" to our next NYC Bingo Card? What was God doing in our godless subway system anyway?
— The Travel Bible (@_TravelBible) September 25, 2017
Update: An MTA spokesperson told us, "Trains are given a light cleaning at each terminal and receive a deep cleaning during major regularly scheduled maintenance, roughly every 70-75 days. If you see something now it’s likely it wasn’t from April." So in the best case scenario...they just made the same mistake to paint during rush hour again?