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Platform Doors to be Tested on 7-Train Platform at Times Square and Two Other Stations

7 train pulling into station. The MTA plans to pilot barriers at three stations– including at the Times Square station on the 7-train platform (Photo: R38R40 CC BY-SA 4.0))

Feb. 23, 2022 By Christian Murray

The MTA plans to install barriers at three subway stations—including one on the 7-train platform in Times Square— that will block access to the tracks.

The barriers, also known as platform screen doors, will also be installed at the Sutphin Boulevard-JFK station on the E-line as well as at the Third Avenue station on the L line in Manhattan.

“We’re going to be piloting platform doors at three stations where the engineering does work,” said MTA chief Janno Lieber on NY1 Wednesday morning. However, given current engineering, he said they would not “work at a lot of places.”

The pilot program would create a barrier between the platform and the tracks as a means to protect riders from being pushed or falling in front of trains.

The announcement comes in response to calls for the barriers following a series of attacks where straphangers were pushed off the platforms in front of trains.

In January, Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, was fatally shoved in front of the train while standing on the R train platform in Times Square.

Advocates have called on the MTA to add the barriers, noting that they are prevalent in Europe and Asia.

The MTA has historically rejected the idea, saying it would be too costly and it would not work, given the age of the 104-year-old system and its size–with 472 stations and 665 miles of track.

However, a task force was created in December after Lieber said there was an increase in attacks.

“Months ago, I started seeing that the number of people getting on the tracks and in the tunnels was going up….So I created an interagency group at the MTA to study it,” he told NY1.

Lieber did not give an estimate of how much the platform doors would cost.

He said the agency will also be testing new technology to detect if there is a person on the tracks.

“We’re also going to be piloting new technologies to detect track incursion using thermal technology, using laser technology, so we can know quicker when people get on the tracks and hopefully, interdict that kind of behavior,” he said.

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9 Comments

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MRLIC

only 128 of 472 stations that would be able to fit these barriers and those 128 stations would cost 7 billion dollars and take 10 years to onstall. Knowing the glacial pace of MTA outside contractors mote like 15-20 years and probably double the price for the 128 stations.

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Larry Penner

There are better ways for the MTA to spend $100 million dollars than the installation of platform gates at three NYC Transit subway stations. Worse, would be spending billions more to do the same at even more stations. The MTA estimates it would cost $7 billion to install barriers at the 128 of 472 system wide stations that could physically accommodate them. This would do little to attract all five million plus pre COVID-19 NYC Transit subway riders. Better to spend these funds for more transit police. They could assist the the MTA in dealing with the far more frequent daily occurance of muggings, robbery, fare evasion, vandalism, urination, defecation, panhandling and the homeless taking over whole subway cars or sleeping on platform benches. This adversely impacts both commuters and NYC Transit employees. Investing $100 million would go a long way toward paying to assign a transit police officer to ride each train and patrol all 472 stations. Installation of security cameras on trains and more stations would serve as a better deterrent against crime, fare evasion and vandalism. There is also the need to increase fines and penalties as a deterrent for those who don’t pay their fare, commit assaults or vandalism. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and other DA’s must follow up and prosecute those who commit these acts. End revolving door justice when the same criminals are released without bail. Too many return to our transit system within days to commit the same offenses.

(Larry Penner — transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads, MTA Bus, NYC Department of Transportation along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ).

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JB

Fining more people who don’t pay their fare won’t do anything. People who don’t pay the fare also won’t pay the fine. Cops who move panhandlers to the street will just face those same people hopping the turnstile again or sleeping outside. The job of bail is not to keep people in jail indefinitely, it’s to ensure they appear in court. If you want to keep them in prison, that’s 50-100k a year per person. Plus the expense for each cop who is unlikely to deter this crime. When’s the last time a cop stopped someone from falling onto tracks? It’s far more expensive than installing gates, which will pay for themselves with reduced trash on tracks, fewer trash fire delays, ads on the gates, liability insurance and lawsuits.

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MRLIC

The gates as I stated can only
be installed in 128 of the 472 stations for $7 billion and will take 10 years. Knowing the MTA that means 15- -20 yeats and a cost overrun of a few more billion..

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Merman

For a transit department that makes over $5 million a DAY (post COVID)…This is long, long overdue. For years the MTA has said how strapped for cash they are. But if anyone with a brain starts asking simple questions this budget deficit never makes sense. Shut up and install the doors.

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JB

The transit department loses millions every day. Get real. What makes you think the MTA operates at a profit? They take in fares, which are drastically reduced, get government funding, and have to pay employees, maintenance, construction costs, interest on past loans, pensions, settlements, etc.

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Merman

“Loses millions every day”…you mean they have operating costs? Trust me, for $35 million a week I am confident the MTA can make improvements. Remember when in 2019 Andy Byford came and made significant improvements to the MTA? And remember when after one year Byford left because of too much red tape and Cuomo being a terrible boss? Excuses are the number one preventer of progress. Stop making them.

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MRLIC.

Some of what ypu say is true..
Let us not forget the overtime foasco the paying of $5 for a sctew BS in the past.
True the state under Cuom tried to deny they even ran the MTA and blamed the city
because he and DeBlasio never soa eye to eye. The state underfunded the MTA for years and I believe the city does provide siome money to the citu but also
underfunded the MTA. Gov. Pataki eliminated the commter tax on people mostly from.jersey who worked in NY. All these thongs hurt the MTA that they had to borrow money
for years. A lot of mismanagement at the MTA does not help .The biilt in 2 year fare increases did not help as you make public transit more expensive for workingnpeople who rely on it.

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