What to Know
The MTA is reinstalling the deafening emergency exit door sirens in certain stations after years of silence
The MTA says it will reactivate alarms at 10 select stations.
NYC Transit reinstated them at the NYPD's request in an effort to cut fare evasion.
Subway riders are getting an ear blast from the past — NYC Transit is reinstalling the emergency exit door sirens in select stations.
The alarm sound is one New Yorkers haven't heard for years since the alarms went silent to make life underground quieter, but they are now back as a deterrent.
The MTA says the NYPD made the request after a spike in farebeating — a problem the MTA says cost the cash-strapped agency a lot of money.
Subways lost $96 million to farebeaters in 2018, while buses lost $119 million. The total amount of money lost because of this issue -- $215 million -- is up from $110 in 2015.
“The alarms are not all being switched back on. We are complying with NYPD's request to reactivate alarms at 10 select stations as they work to prevent fare evasion,” said Sarah Meyer, Chief Customer Officer for New York City Transit, on Twitter. “We will see if this pilot proves effective and will report back.”
In a statement to NBC 4, NYPD Lieutenant John Grimpel said, "in partnership with New York City Transit, we are exploring different was to change behavior of those who seek to evade the fare at turnstiles, and this is one of the strategies we're piloting."
Commuters shared differing points of view about whether the sirens will work in solving the issue.
"It could be a good thing because it’ll deter a lot of people who wanna avoid the turnstiles," commuter Carmen Scarpanatta said.
Meanwhile, another commuter, Rich Achesky, said he didn't know if the sirens will prevent farebeating.
However, Charisma DeZonie said the alarms would not solve the issue. When asked if she thinks the sirens will make a difference, DeZonie said: "No. Just more noise in NYC. Good luck to them."
Twitter users were not too thrilled about the news.
“How does excessive noise prevent fare evasion?” asked Twitter user Armenoush.
“NO. DO NOT DO THIS,” replied Twitter user Brian Hedden. "Do not be responsible for making NYC more hostile to its people."