New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is partnering with Nicolas Heller, better known as @NewYorkNico, to find iconic New Yorkers to deliver subway and bus announcements next year. Heller has chosen to open the floor to his followers for suggestion on who the announcers should be.
The self-proclaimed "unofficial talent scout of New York City" said some people have expressed interest in lending their voices for this initiative with the MTA, but he has his own favorites, like Robert DeNiro, Jerry Seinfeld, and Desus & Mero. But Heller isn't limiting his scope to celebrities. He's also open to getting local legends, recognizable voices, and more for this unique opportunity, telling TimeOut, "There is no real determination for who is iconic. It's really just who the people think is worthy of the honor! I want the people of New York to be a huge part of this whole process."
"It has always been a dream of mine to get together a gang of incredible New Yorkers to record new subway announcements similar to what yellow cabs did back in the early 2000s," Heller said. "I think it's important for the time that we are in that we have a reminder that we are still strong, we are still here, we are still New York. If all goes according to plan, it will spark a sense of New York pride every time you take the train."
Heller said anyone who participates in this project will not be getting paid because they will be "doing it for the culture."
"As we work to bring customers and our city back, what better combination than two New York originals teaming up to do just that," Sarah Feinberg, interim president of the MTA New York City Transit, said. "New York City Transit is thrilled to work with New York Nico to bring the voices of iconic New Yorkers into the system."
Earlier this year, Heller issued a challenge on Instagram to find the best New York accent, receiving submissions from notable names, like Alec Baldwin, Michael Rapaport, Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino, and more.