NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) —The transit workers union is sending a grim message, reminding straphangers of the dangers of the subway system.
Following the recent spate of tragedies on the tracks, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are considering high-tech solutions, including installing barriers between the platform and the tracks, to improve safety on subway platforms.
The agency also rolled out posters warning riders to stand back away from the platform.
But members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 said there are better, faster and cheaper ways to save lives.
“People are being traumatized, people are being injured,” Vice President for Rapid Transit Operations Kevin Harrington said. “We as a union — my officers and I — felt we had to intervene.”
The TWU is pushing their ideas with a controversial prop — standard MetroCards that look like they’re splattered in blood.
The back of the so-called “Grim Reaper Cards” lists the union’s plans:
- Urge operators to slow down when entering stations
- Put agents on crowded platforms
- Use an emergency switch to shut off power
The MTA issued a statement in response saying, “The fact is that slowing down trains would create crowding conditions on trains and platforms and would actually create a more dangerous condition.”
Last year, 55 people died as a result of being struck by a train — the most since 2007.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has said that, based on current statistics, the subway system is headed for at least 100 deaths this year.
Council Member James Vacca, chairman of the Transportation Committee, held an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon on improving subway safety.
Vacca said the recent spate of subway fatalities should be “a wake-up call to our transit system,” during the hearing.
Five million people ride the city’s subways on the average weekday.
Last month, an MTA committee held its own hearing on subway safety efforts.