- In an interview on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it will install barriers on subway platforms in an attempt to improve public safety.
- The announcement comes a month after 40-year-old Michelle Go was shoved to her death in front of an oncoming train at the Times Square station.
- The pilot program, which will include three stations, is expected to be completed in 2024 for a cost of more than $100 million.
- Aside from barriers, the MTA is also looking into deploying thermal and laser technologies to detect track incursion.
A month after the tragic death of Michelle Go, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it will install barriers on subway platforms in an attempt to improve public safety.
The pilot program will be implemented in three stations, including the Times Square 7 line, the Third Avenue L line and the Sutphin Boulevard JFK Airport E line, according to FOX 5 New York.
Calls for such barriers have reportedly been made for years. Last May, a 35-year-old Asian man was also pushed onto the tracks in front of an approaching train, but bystanders were able to pull him up in time.
The barriers, which are also called platform edge or platform screen doors, will block the tracks until trains arrive. Such doors are already being used across Asia and Europe, with at least one study concluding that they are highly effective, according to The New York Times.
The pilot program, however, is not expected to roll out until 2024. It will also cost more than $100 million per MTA’s estimates.
“It’s going to take a while and we’re going to have to put the money together, which is a little complicated,” MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Janno Lieber told NY1 on Wednesday. “But our goal is to try out these technologies at different places in the system, including three stations, trying out platform doors.”
Aside from the barriers, the MTA is also planning to deploy new technologies to detect track incursion. These include thermal and laser technologies, so they can know “quicker when people get on the tracks and hopefully, interdict that kind of behavior,” Lieber said.
Still, public safety in New York City’s subways go beyond track shovings. Just days after the city announced the Subway Safety Plan — a new safety initiative focused on mental health and homelessness — on Feb. 18, at least six people have been stabbed or slashed on the subway, CNN reported.
“The teams that are being put together combined homeless services, social service professionals, mental health professionals and frankly cops to back them up,” Lieber said. “None of them are guaranteed to produce immediate results. But you got 30 teams of those mixed disciplines.”