MTA memorial honors New York City transit workers lost to COVID-19

A New York City memorial honors Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers who died from COVID-19. The "TRAVELS FAR" memorial, named after a poem by former U.S. poet laureate Tracy Smith, depicts photos of those lost to COVID-19 in an eight-minute video running on three-panel digital screens at 107 subway stations, Grand Central Terminal, Moynihan Train Hall and One Vanderbilt Transit Hall.

"Sadly, MTA has lost 136 of our colleagues, there are 111 men and women whose families chose to participate in the memorial and they are cleaners and conductors, train operators, bus operators, maintainers," said Sarah Feinberg, interim president of New York City Transit.

Commuters can watch the memorial three times a day at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

"I want them to take a moment and see the losses that the MTA has experienced, that New York City transit experiences," Feinberg said. "These names go by, these numbers float by and they have throughout the pandemic but this is an opportunity to really see and focus on the faces and the families who have been impacted and to really drive home to New Yorkers, the price that's been paid in this city."

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 27,000 people have died in New York City as a result of COVID-19, according to New York City's government website nyc.gov.

"It's an important moment for commuters and New Yorkers to take a minute and it's not just about, 'Is my train two minutes late? Which car am I going to choose? What's service like?' It's also to remind people of what this system is," Feinberg said. "It is run and managed by 55,000 men and women in this city who show up every single day and move people safely and efficiently through the city, and the city doesn't work without them."

"TRAVELS FAR" runs through Sunday (February 7).

Video Transcript

SARAH FEINBERG: This is something we've been working on for months. It's obviously a way to honor our colleagues who passed away from COVID and also give their families an opportunity to come into the system and see how we honor them, see how we miss them and still think about them every day and, frankly, to give the city an opportunity to come into the system and pay their respects as well.

So, sadly, MTA has lost 136 of our colleagues. There are 111 men and women whose families chose to participate in the memorial. They are cleaners and conductors, train operators, bus operators, maintainers. It is reflective of all of the MTA, which ultimately is reflective of the city. I want them to take a moment and see the losses that the MTA has experienced, that New York City transit experiences. These names go by, these numbers float by, and they have throughout the pandemic. But this is an opportunity to really see and focus on the faces and the families who have been impacted and to really sort of drive home to New Yorkers, you know, the price that's been paid in this city.

It's, you know, an important moment for commuters and New Yorkers to take a minute-- and it's not just about, is my train two minutes late? Which car am I gonna choose? What's service like? It's also to remind people of like what this system is. It is run and managed by 55,000 men and women in this city who show up every single day and move people safely and efficiently through the city, and the city doesn't work without them.