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MTA Chief Pushes Back Against TWU On Subway Slowdown

Local track at 14th Street A/C/E subway station in Manhattan (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

Local track at 14th Street A/C/E subway station in Manhattan (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - An executive with the transit union went up against the acting chairman of the MTA today on the subject of subway safety and train speed.

After the recent spate of tragedies on the tracks, Transport Workers Union Local 100 Vice President Kevin Harrington told the MTA board that, in his experience as a motorman, there were times when he hit and killed people, but on other occasions, he was able to stop.

“The reasons why I did not run them over was because, for some reason or another, I was entering the train stations slower,” he told the MTA board on Wednesday.

The union is pushing to have trains slow down as they enter stations, saying it’s the best way to cut the number of people killed.

“Right now, the transit authority has many futuristic technology schemes to cut back on passenger fatalities. They will save no lives now,” Harrington said. “I do not want to be the person to tell somebody’s family who was killed by a train that ‘Sorry, they had to wait for a solution.’”

But Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, argued against it.

He said slowing the trains will mean even more people in the stations.

“A platform can get very full very quickly and get very dangerous,” he said.

Recently, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said that, based on current statistics, the subway system is headed for 100 deaths this year.

Do you think trains should slow down? Sound off below.