MTA eyes sliding doors on subway platforms to prevent falls onto tracks, litter thrown onto rails
Originally Published:Tuesday, February 1st 2011, 4:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 1st 2011, 9:31 AM
The MTA is exploring the use of mechanical doors on subway platforms - like those already in use on the AirTrain platform in Jamaica, Queens.
Brendan Mahoney was killed by an L train.
What do you think?
Subway platform rails
Should the MTA put protective walls along platform edges?
Yes, too many people die from falling or jumping onto the tracks.No, it will cost too much money and people need to take responsibility for themselves.I'm not sure.
The MTA may install sliding mechanical doors on subway platforms so riders can't fall, jump - or get pushed to the tracks.
The metal-and-glass doors would be part of a barrier along a platform's edge and would open only after a train stops at the station, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority document shows.
The system would help prevent tragic incidents, like the Sunday morning death on the L train tracks of 24-year-old Brendan Mahoney in Brooklyn, officials said.
In 2009 alone, 90 people were struck by trains - and 40 died, NYC Transit stats show. "We are very early in the process of looking at the possibility of installing platform doors that would go a long way toward enhancing passenger safety and station appearance," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz
The protective platforms under consideration are increasingly common overseas in cities like London
. They are also in use closer to home at AirTrain stops in Queens and in New Jersey
Subway riders yesterday said the platform barriers and doors would be a good addition but worried about the costs and whether installation would drive fares up.
"I think it's great but ... I don't know where they'll get the funds to finance that," said Dave Ugelow
, a 24-year-old Manhattan
law student. "Anything that can prevent people from falling or jumping on the tracks is a good thing."
One plan under consideration is to allow whoever builds the doors to share the revenue from advertising that would go on them.
NYC Transit has drafted a two-page list of requirements for the platform-edge barriers in what is called a "Request for Information" that is due back from manufacturers in March. It asks companies interested in the project to describe their qualifications and how they might proceed if selected.
Proponents say the door would do more than just help protect passengers - it would also help reduce the number of lawsuits and the million-dollar payouts the agency faces each year.
Another added benefit: The doors would prevent trash from being tossed or blown onto the tracks. Hundreds of trains are delayed each month by small fires ignited by sparks from trains and the electrified third rail.