As any New Yorker knows, people-watching in the subway is a prime way to pass the time while waiting for the next train. People can be seen moving in every direction, hurrying up and down the stairs, hopping onto trains, and running for the express, or just standing still, waiting for their ride home to arrive.
Among the chaos and the rush, it's often easy to overlook the actual subway drivers who are taking riders where they want to go, Dutch photographer Janus van den Eijnden created this series, entitled Subway Drivers, as a documentation of the MTA employees in their day-to-day routines. He spent days underground, document candid moments when the subjects were unaware of the camera. He composed each photograph exactly the same, pairing the small train window with the car number and, often, an American flag decal.
As the conductors patiently wait, surrounded by hundreds of people shoving onto the trains, many of them seem lost in their own daydreams. In the candid moments, van den Eijnden documents the rare, personal moments of solitude that the unaware drivers are able to experience, even within the chaos. Van den Eijnden says, “An intriguing tension is gained between universality and individuality, between inside and outside, present and absent, and between us and them.”