Are these the golden years of branded subway card design? After rolling out train tickets promoting Twin Peaks, Supreme, and most recently Barbara Kruger’s provocative art, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has now released a new line celebrating David Bowie. Commuters can try to purchase these special edition MetroCards at the Broadway-Lafayette station, where ticket machines are stocked with five Bowie-inspired options, each commemorating one of the late artist’s personas. If you’re a lucky earthling, you might receive a design depicting Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, or Thin White Duke.
The campaign, which launched yesterday, April 17, is a collaboration with Spotify and overlaps with the pricey and wildly popular exhibition David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum. The Broadway-Lafayette station — just a few blocks from Bowie’s former residence — has also been transformed into a visual tribute to the musician. The underground labyrinth now features wall art, from fan-made artworks to visuals currently on view at the Brooklyn museum, that explore Bowie’s influence on music, fashion, and New York City. A Bowie-themed subway map also plots locations in Manhattan that were key to his career, from Electric Lady Studios to Carnegie Hall, where he played his first-ever New York City concert.
The MTA said on Twitter that 250,000 cards were printed, and the takeover continues through Sunday, May 13. Here’s hoping everything will be hunky-dory for all you Bowie devotees — and that you might carry a memento of the musician in your wallet, station to station.