MTA: Everything on the table, including platform doors, in safety push after track deaths

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jan 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-29 18:29:51-05

In the aftermath of two high-profile track deaths that disturbed straphangers, transit officials are reviewing all options when it comes to platform safety.

The MTA has already begun a public service announcement campaign, with new signs and announcements in the system. The MTA is reviewing a number of proposals that were submitted for the installation of platform doors —  cost estimates are more than $1 billion.

Details on the number of deaths and injuries on the tracks — and some possible solutions and safety enhancements — were revealed in a presentation Monday at the regular transit committee meeting.

In 2012, 141 people were hit by trains and 55 were killed, according to preliminary statistics released by the MTA.  Most of the incidents involve suicide, or people slipping onto the tracks after running for the train.

platform doors

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The MTA is also stepping up installation of “Help Point” call buttons on the track level. Plans are to add 66 stations next year and 366 stations in the 2015-19 Capital Plan. The MTA is also looking at intrusion detectors that sound an alert if someone is on the tracks.

TWU Local 100, which represents transit workers, has suggested trains should slow down as they enter stations. At the meeting, MTA staff showed a computer generated model that depicted more crowding on the platform when trains are slowed down. Transit officials say slower trains decrease number of trains running and more crowded platforms increase the risk of someone ending up on the tracks.

The Straphangers Campaign says: “This is an issue that should not go away.  Transit officials must follow through and officials and riders groups should actively monitor what progress there has been.”