MTA says subway shove-preventing platform doors are too expensive

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The MTA says it would be too expensive to install subway platform doors — despite the recent spate of people being violently shoved onto tracks.

The barriers — which prevent people accessing the tracks at stops and open only when a train arrives — “are unbelievably expensive,” Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg testified Wednesday in response to questions from Councilman Peter Koo (D-Queens) about how to prevent the repeated attacks plaguing the system.

“We’ve looked at it. I will just tell you it’s a multi-billion dollar, I think it was a $2 billion solution, to put these in just a portion of our stations,” Feinberg told Koo.

“Given the nature of our system, the way our platforms are built, the way our trains come in, and the end, how long our trains are, it’s slightly complicated,” she said.

“They would be possible in some stations, but would be an extremely expensive solution to something that is typically viewed as a problem that happens on occasion, and not very often.”

Transit officials have been exploring platform doors for the better part of the last decade. In 2018, the agency nixed plans to test barriers at some Lower Manhattan stations.

The lack of progress puzzled Koo, who noted his participation in platform door discussions 10 years ago.

“You see these around the world. They have been using platform doors for many years – 30, 40 years,” Koo said.

“In New York City, we should have the resources to do it, no? Not in all stations, but in some stations at least, no? You don’t need fancy one, you can create some simple mechanical ones like the ones they use in Disneyland.”

MTA Chairman Pat Foye interjected to argue the unique nature of New York City’s 472-station subway system.

“The systems that have platform doors, including Disneyland, tend to be new systems, new stations that were built assuming platform doors,” Foye explained.

“The subways were built by different investor groups 180 years ago, and we don’t have the uniformity of platform size platform, curves, etcetera. It would be an extraordinary amount of money.”



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Kimberly Wilson

Kimberly Wilson

Kimberly Wilson is the author of the Top Stories and International News section of Newzinto.