New York's MTA Wants To Keep People Off Subway Tracks With New Platform Doors

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's pilot program will go into effect at three NYC subway stations

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Photo: Ed Jones (Getty Images)

The MTA is tired of people falling — or being shoved — onto subway tracks in New York City, so they are trying to do something about it.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is launching a new pilot program that will put up shove-stopping barriers at three subway stations in Manhattan and Queens. They will be found at the Times Square 7 line, Third Avenue L Line and Sutphin Boulevard/JFK Airport at the end of the E Line.

MTA Chair Janno Lieber made the announcement Wednesday during an appearance on Spectrum News NY1.

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Lieber said he and his team had previously studied and ruled out platform doors as part of the MTA’s current capital improvement plan. That was mostly due to their thinking that the program would be too expensive and complicated.

However, that changed after a woman was murdered when she was pushed onto the tracks at the Times Square station by a mentally ill homeless man in January.

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In addition to the trail platform doors, the MTA is exploring the idea of using thermal and laser technology to see if someone is on the tracks who shouldn’t be. From the article:

“It’s going to take a while. We’re going to put the money together, which is a little complicated,” Lieber told NY1. “But our goal is to try out these technologies, at different places in the system, including three stations, trying out platform doors.”

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Lieber said the MTA would also be working with NYU Medical Center to figure out a way to keep people from committing suicide by jumping on tracks in front of trains.

After Michelle Alyssa Go’s death in January, advocates called on the MTA to put these barriers in place. Similar systems are already in place in parts of Europe and Asia, and they can also be found at JFK Airport’s Air Train.

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There’s no word right now on how much the pilot program will cost — or how much a full implementation across the city will be, but the MTA is working on raising funds to do so.