It’s a sad day to be a Metro and amNY newspaper distributor. In response to MTA complaints that the so-called "hawkers" contribute to the excess of trash found in subway stations (thus leading to things like track fires), the MTA has announced an agreement with the publishers of the free daily papers that will prohibit the workers from distributing papers in the subway. WNYC reports that self-service racks will take the place of actual people, while the hawkers will remain in LIRR, Metro-North and NJ Transit stations.
It will be interesting to see the effect that this method of distribution will have on circulation of those free papers, given that sometimes convincing straphangers to take a paper requires as much of a sales pitch as anything else. "If you’re not friendly, then people are not gonna take the paper. And that’s what really sells our paper," says Michael Thorpe, an amNY hawker for the past eight years.
What do you think of this new change? Will you miss your local hawker or do you agree that overall, the change is for the better? Are you indifferent? Let us know in the comments below.