There are so very few things you can rely on when it comes to New York City's subway system. It will fail you many more times than it will impress you with its ability to, say, function. The seat colors aren't uniform, the schedule is non-existent, the odor always something different... but the flooring is always the same. An unchanging, grounding factor in your commute. Maybe you don't even notice it every day, that reliable old black with red speckles flooring (or sometimes beige), but it's always there. Until IT ISN'T.
The new flooring being tested for our subway cars. (Jen Carlson/Gothamist)
Earlier this week, I stepped on to an A train and felt immediately disoriented. The flooring was gray. A flat gray, no speckles forming the sturdy galaxy that's normally below my feet. I felt like I was falling. Where was I? Tokyo? New Jersey? Dreaming?
I reached out to MTA rep Amanda Kwan and was told, "We’re testing flooring." (Just like those subway arrows to nowhere.) Why? When will this flooring roll out? Why gray? Is this a tribute to Gothamist and our trademark Gothamist Gray color? What is in this flooring? Will it make the trains run on time? We'll update when we're told more.