NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are renewed calls to make the edge of subway platforms less dangerous following several deadly incidents.
There were three accidents on subway platforms over the last 48 hours alone. In each case, a passenger tumbled from the platform onto the tracks below and was struck by an oncoming train, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.
Last month, a tussle on-board the L train spilled out onto the platform at the Bedford Avenue station and both men fell onto the tracks.
One man was able to climb out, but 20-year-old Joshua Basin was struck by a train and killed.
The number of subway incidents is growing. Last year, 147 people were hit by subway trains, a 15 percent spike in accidents from the year before, highlighting a push for more safety underground.
In many cities across Europe and Asia, platform screen doors have become the norm. The protective barriers were put in place after a rash of accidents on platforms.
So will the MTA consider installing sliding doors at platform edges of all stations?
“The idea came out at the transit committee meeting,” MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said last week. “They’re quite expensive and given the 496 stations, I think that’s the number, it’d be quite prohibitive.”
An MTA spokesperson told Brown, however, that the MTA doesn’t even have the cash to conduct a study of the barriers. The spokesperson said the protective doors would more typically be done when designing a new system – not when retrofitting an older one.
Some commuters think it’s a good idea.
“If makes things safer, I’m all for it,” said commuter Michael Longmore.
But others aren’t so sure.
“I don’t think installing glass would be a protective device, it would probably be more dangerous,” said commuter Corren Vernon. “If someone pushes you, you go over just the same.”
Officials say the barriers could have additional benefits, such as helping to reduce the amount of trash on the tracks.
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