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.