The following is a press release from the office of Councilman Vincent Gentile:
In the wake of three recent incidents where people were pushed into the path of an oncoming train, many have suggested installing barriers in front of subway tracks.
Councilman Vincent J. Gentile is suggesting another solution that is much more cost effective and can be implemented system wide much more quickly.
Councilman Vincent J. Gentile is suggesting trains simply “slow down” when entering the stations.
“If new rules were implemented requiring trains to enter stations at a slower speed, then it would give the train a better chance to stop in time if someone is on the tracks or give that person a better chance to get off the tracks, into an alcove, or run to the opposite end of the track into the mouth of tunnel away from the train,” said Councilman Gentile in a letter to NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast.
“This change can be instituted quickly and at minimum cost to the transit system,” added Gentile.
While Gentile acknowledged that it might lengthen commuter times slightly, the trade-off is worth it if the entire system could be made safer for everyone.
“Let’s make no mistake about it,” Gentile continued, “we still must work in the long term to address the mental health issues of the individuals involved in these shoving incidents. Yet, in the short term, this can be an immediate response to a growing safety issue.”
In 2011, 147 people were hit by a New York City subway – 15% more than 2010 – and 50 of those incidents were fatal.