Sliding Doors Could Make NYC Subway Platforms Safer

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/1010 WINS) – Last year, subways killed 40 people in New York City.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams talks to commuters

1010 WINS Reporter Carol D’Auria talks with straphangers

It happened again over the weekend when a young man from Brooklyn was struck and killed by an L train.

No one knows how he ended up on the tracks.

In the future, sliding mechanical doors at the platform’s edge could save lives, preventing people from falling, jumping, or getting pushed.

RELATED: CBS New York Guide to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

The MTA confirms to the New York Daily News that it’s in the preliminary stages of learning more about these protective barriers, like the sliding doors on the AirTrain.

Underground, folks think it’s a no-brainer.

“[It’s] very dangerous for kids,” said one woman.

“That’s what we need, especially during rush hour. It’s like so many people on the platform,” said another woman.

Regarding the cost, one idea calls for advertisers to foot the bill.

Sliding doors are also used on parts of the Beijing and Paris subway systems, as well as the airport train system in Atlanta.

More from Sean Adams
  • C Baker

    Okay, guys, you’re missing the point.

    By isolating the platforms from the tracks, we could keep the platforms cooler in summer. THAT, if you ask me, would be money well spent!

  • t

    There are a lot of countries which now have this in their subway systems. Many of those countries were impoverished 50 some years ago. Yet somehow NYC has not been able to keep up. I REALLY hope that we can add these to the subway system! Somehow. Notice how clean it is in the photo? NYC needs to keep up so that it can stay a “world class city” or else it will fall behind and will no longer be able to compete… so sad


    So i’m wondering if the people are some intent on saving lives by spending a few billion on platform doors that will more than likely no work – why not outlaw cigarettes and booze? That would save hundreds of lives a week.

  • Vader

    Waste of money.

  • Neville Lee

    They actually have them on some lines in London as well..Anything that can make the subways safer gets my vote..

  • Rob Maeurer

    Also – way too much money to save a few idiots – probably the same idiots talking on cells while crossing streets

  • Rob Maeurer

    Eliminate stupid people, then people wouldn’t fall on tracks.

  • grant

    we were able put a man on the moon over 40 years ago but we still can’t make our subways safe?

    me thinks we did gets dumber as them years did gone by.

  • Mr N Train

    I feel left out in 65 years of riding the subway I never
    somehow fell onto the tracks.
    Easy remedy stay along the platform wall when the train
    comes in,also keeps crazies from being able to give yah a push.

  • Meg

    Very few Paris stations have this installed. A number of their trains have manual doors that can open before the train even stops. When I lived in Kyoto, Japan a few years back I saw a man trip and fall towards the tracks as a train was coming. If it wasn’t for this system, the man would be dead. If advertising can pay for the cost, it’s a great thing to have for safety’s sake.

  • Isagani Vecino

    Yes, sliding doors could help prevent passengers mishaps. Just like airports in Atlanta, Singapore, Hongkong, Taipei. This can prevent rushing passenger to a halt whenever sliding doors send its alarms to close.

    • ned

      Ok all you English majors, how many things can we find wrong with this statement?

      • Kate

        Its obvious to me that a) the person above me is a bored idiot; and b) the person above him is a non-native English speaker.

  • May

    Sliding doors have existed in the Hong Kong subway system for years. I was there a few yrs ago and was amazed at how effortlessly they worked and how it was such a simple idea. Think of how many people could be saved from accidentally falling onto the tracks or how many suicides can be prevented. The problem isn’t the technology. The problem will be-can the MTA actually manage this. This is the same MTA that can’t run the system when it rains too hard in NYC!

  • Gene

    Anather bad idea. The subway never will stop at the door entry. We have it now on Whitehall Station. Almost every time the train miss the entry doors.

  • Subway Rider

    MTA should tackle the rat problem first.

  • Mike Naylon

    The New York Times printed my letter in 1999 with this exact suggestion.

    • DanTe

      You have been a stupid parasite that wants to waste other people’s money since 1999? That’s a very long time to be a stupid parasite.

      • nathan

        DanTe here’s hoping we see you on the tracks in the path of the oncoming train.

  • Sarah

    How much will this cost us? Seriously? How about clean the stations up, hire competent workers, and fix everything that is broken before moving to this waste of money. They really only want it because it “looks pretty” not because it saves anyone. How much will it cost will hoodwinks decide to break the doors and the glass/plastic? Something else to just waste our money!

  • Cos

    Oh, great… Something else that can/will break down and prevent the ability to get on a train… With the amount of riders per day, I think this would be a bad idea. Common sense is what saves lives, not throwing money at the problem. As somone who rides NYC transit on a daily basis, I’ve seen some realy unintelligent moves made by riders – not the least of which is standing to darn close to the yellow line! I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I’ll sue….”. Yeah, but you’ve got to live through it first!

  • Jeff

    It’s about time! Seattle Washington has had doors on its monorail at the airport for over 30 years. By having these walls, we can eventually aircondition the entire subway system. Let the advertiser’s pay for it!

  • Elmo

    This is a waste of money. Put your phone away and stand clear of the platform.

  • bob previdi

    All the big high volume stations can get them. Make a list of the top 20 and in addition to making them safer, you can put on the AC at Grand Central and actually have it work. If you want to see such a thing here in NY. Just go to the JFK Airtrain. Works fine.

    • Barre Flynn

      This makes sense. On high volume platforms it would be a really good thing.

  • VY

    It should be considered only at high volume, high crowding stations where statistics show that a problem exists at higher levels than average stations.
    It would be too expensive to do it for all 462 stations in the entire system.
    And I agree that toxicology tests probably would show that a high percentage of the people killed were in some way drunk or high on something.
    We have to improve the system, but doing all stations would bankrupt the system and ultimately serve no one.

  • The Good Samaritan

    Its money well spent even if it only saves one life.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

    • Nick

      There you have it folks. If The Good Samaritan is for it, than it’s got to be wrong. Real Wrong.

      • Nick is a cool dude

        Couldn’t agree more!!! Amen Nick

  • Agent_C

    It’s important to remember that the NYC Subway system has _468_ stations. That’s FOUR HUNDRFED AND SIXTY EIGHT. Many stations have multiple platforms for local and express service.

    The cost of implementing something like this would be astronomical, and for what? To save a few drunks a year from falling off the platforms? Yeah right…

  • Brucie

    Kids? I bet most if not all of the 40 killed in 2010 few or none were kids. Why invest money in this when we are having a budget crisis? If the parents can’t keep them safe, then why should taxpayers even care? The percentage of people dying by subway train vs. safe trips is so low, it’s not really worth discussing. It’s a stupid idea, at least until we can afford it.

  • ed s

    I think its about time we put in more safety measures I am tired of worrying everytime the platform is over croweded

    • Brucie

      Then don’t stand or walk near the platform edge. This would be a much simpler and cost effective way to prevent these mishaps.

  • Fred

    Yes, let’s have more fare increases.

  • Josh

    Considering the financial mess the city & MTA are in, spending more for no return on investment doesn’t make economic sense at this time. However, making more stations handicap accessible by adding elevators is something to consider.

  • doc

    Dan Te,

    If it save just one person (adult or kid) in NYC, it’s worth every one of my and everyone else’s tax dollar. Our subway systems are obsolete and 10 years behind in technology and safety issues. Catch up with the time , travel and see the world, instead of spending times on the Internet with Billy boy’s big cigar in your behind.

    • Nick

      Nice bag of hot air you’re spewing there doc. You feel so strongly about it? Than go pay for it. Go on, go pay. It’s “worth every one of your dollars” right?

    • Kenny

      Doc, I have to agree with you. I’ve been on the subway system in Washington, D.C., Rio De Janeiro, and Athens. Their subway systems are far cleaner, more technically advanced, and quieter than New York’s. New York invented the subway system and has had one longer than any other city in the world. You would think its subway system would be atleast almost as good as the cities that I just mentioned.

  • Steve M.

    “Underground, folks think it’s a no-brainer”………….LOL Yeah, well underground folks ARE no brainers…While we’re at it lets hand out individual airbags at the turnstiles, and build Nerf platforms,… Just in case anyone falls over while they’re texting….

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