The metro will test platform doors in 3 stations
More than a month after a woman was pushed to death in front of a moving subway train, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will install barriers that block access to tracks at three stations, the chief executive of the metro said Wednesday. ‘agency.
The move is a reversal for the transit authority, which has long resisted calls for such barriers, calling them impractical, expensive and incompatible with such an old subway system.
Just last month, Janno Lieber, general manager of the MTA, said the barriers — known as platform edge doors or platform screen doors — were impractical given the “ special complexities” of the New York subway, a sprawling 104-year-old. system with 472 stations and 665 miles of track.
But the agency said it needed to address the problem of more people ending up on the lanes, so officials decided to test tray racks as a possible solution.
In an interview on NY1 on Wednesday, Lieber said transit officials will be installing the gates as part of a pilot program at the Times Square station, Sutphin Boulevard—Archer Avenue—JFK Airport station in the Queens and at the Third Avenue station in Manhattan. .
At Times Square, one of the busiest stations in the system, the doors will be placed on the No. 7 line platform, but not on the R train platform where a 40-year-old woman, Michelle Alyssa Go, was pushed to death last month. A homeless man who confessed to shoving Ms Go has been charged with her murder, shocking a city already worried about subway safety.
It also sparked new demands for action from commuters and elected officials, many of whom wanted the transit agency to explore platform doors, which are used on many metro systems in Europe and in Asia and on airport shuttle train systems, including the AirTrain at Kennedy International Airport. .
The gates create a barrier that closes off the track area of the platforms, a radical departure from the open design of the subway system. Although the transit agency has studied their implementation several times over the past few years, previous leaders have concluded that they are either too expensive or unsuitable.
Last month, as calls for the gates mounted, the transit authority released a detailed 3,000-page report from 2019 which found the gates could only be installed at 128 stations – around a quarter of all system stoppages – due to station layout, metro car design and the need for wheelchair access.
Mr Lieber acknowledged on NY1 that engineering issues meant the gates would ‘not work in many places’. But he and other officials chose to continue with the pilot program as the number of people on the subway tracks has increased in recent years and concerns about stampedes have grown.
The agency did not offer a timetable for installing the gates at the three stations. More details will be presented at the transit company’s monthly board meeting on Thursday, a spokesperson said.
The New York City subway has seen an increase in attacks, including people being pushed onto the tracks. Thirty people were pushed onto the slopes in 2021, compared to 20 in 2019 – before the pandemic, when attendance was significantly higher.