Officials also hope the campaign helps with encouraging more riders to offer seats to those who need them.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has launched a new button campaign urging customers to move their feet and give up their seats for pregnant riders, seniors, and those with disabilities.
According to NY transit officials, "As with London's system and many other MTA "Courtesy Counts" messages (such as "Don't Be a Pole Hog" and "Stop the Spread"), this awareness campaign will be self-enforced and not linked to any penalties". Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wore one when she was pregnant in 2013. Buttons will be to be mailed in approximately three weeks. South Korea has also attempted to alert riders to the presence of pregnant commuters with a system of Bluetooth-powered pink lights, as well as with pink seats marked "for pregnant people" on the Seoul subway.
The campaign has not always gone smoothly in London. The authority says the campaign will be "self-enforced" and not linked to any penalties.
With the ubiquity of smartphones and the expansion of Wi-Fi throughout the subway, some riders might be so consumed with their gadgets that they do not notice a pregnant woman standing nearby.
Last fall, Olivia Wilde Twitter shamed subway riders after no one got up to give the pregnant actress a seat. "We've seen these kinds of accommodations work to make public transit more accessible for pregnant riders in European and Asian countries".
"Yvonne Lin had been carrying around a bronze trophy that read "#1 DECENT DUDE" in case she encountered an upstanding gentleman.