NYC Subway

MTA to Trial Platform Doors at 3 Subway Stations to Keep People Off Tracks

The idea of platform doors at subway stations has kicked around for years, and is commonplace in other countries

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After years of pressure and sometimes-heavy resistance, the MTA says it will run a trial of platform doors at three subway stations to keep people off the tracks.

The idea is hardly new; such doors are commonplace in cities like London, and they came up for consideration in New York in 2012 and again in 2016, both times amid a surge in deaths on the tracks.

But it took on renewed urgency in January of this year after Michelle Go was pushed in front of a train at the Times Square station and killed, a case that provoked national outrage about violence against the Asian community, safety in the transit system and the handling of the mentally ill.

"Installing subway platform doors where possible is a common-sense step we can take towards making the subways safer," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. "I applaud the MTA for testing this idea, and my administration will work in partnership with them to elevate their effectiveness and expand where appropriate."

There has also been an increase this year in people walking on tracks and in subway tunnels, many times ending up in fatalities, like an incident in the Bronx early Tuesday.

That being the case, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said Wednesday the agency would trial platform doors at three stations -- Times Square (7 line), 14th Street and Third Avenue (L line), and the Sutphin Boulevard station (E line) in Queens.

"It’s going to take a while. We’re going to put the money together, which is a little complicated. But our goal is to try out these technologies, at different places in the system, including three stations, trying out platform doors," Lieber told NY1 in an interview.

He said the MTA would also be trying out thermal and laser technologies to try and detect when people were on the tracks or in tunnels.

Lieber told News 4 that the platform doors project will cost more than $100 million and will likely be years to develop and deploy.

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