West Side Rag » Death Spurs’ Upper West Sider MTA plan to test three-station subway platform barriers, sources say
Posted on February 26, 2022 at 4:02 p.m. by West Side Rag
By Carol Tannenhauser
On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced it would test subway platform barriers at three stations in Manhattan and Queens, several sources reported.
Some have suggested that the pilot program was spurred on by tragic death of the Upper West Sider Michelle Go, who was pushed past an oncoming train in January.
The MTA “has long resisted calls for such barriers, calling them impractical, expensive, and incompatible with such an old subway system”, The New York Times wrote. But they also acknowledged that “an increase in the number of people is on the way”.
“Last year the transport authority reported 1,267 track trespassing – meaning someone on the tracks – a 19 per cent jump from 2019, even as metro ridership has more than halved,” the Times reported. “Of those incidents, 200 resulted in people being hit by a train, with 68 fatalities. Transit officials say most people on the tracks, including those hit by trains, chose to be there. Of the 200 crashes last year, about a quarter, or 47, involved suicide attempts.
“Barriers will be at Times Square on the 7-line platform, at Third Avenue on the L line, and at Sutphin Boulevard/JFK on the E train,” MTA Chief Janno Lieber said. NY1. He said Times Square screens would not be where Michelle Go was pushed because an MTA study found the waiting area was too narrow. “’We’re going to be piloting…platform gates at three stations where the engineering is working,’” Lieber said.
This would include around 128 – a quarter of the stations in the system – according to a 2019 MTA report.
The Times said the program would cost more than $100 million and likely wouldn’t be completed until 2024.