1/9/13

Gentile: Slow Down Entering Trains

In recent months, subway pushers have put three straphangers on the tracks in the path of oncoming trains.  Only one of the three survived.

Last year, 147 people were hit -- and 50 were killed -- by subway trains in New York City subway, up 15% from 2010.

In a letter to NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast, local City Council Member Vinnie Gentile, responding to calls for platform barriers, proposed that a quicker, cheaper fix would be to slow train speeds in the station.

If entering trains moved at slower speeds, Gentile said, the train operator would have more time to respond, and the rider would have more time to get away from the oncoming train.

This change, Gentile said, could be implemented quickly at little cost to the system.  And, while commutes might be slightly longer, making the system safer would be worth the trade-off.

We should still seek long-term solutions to the growing problem of subway pushers, Gentile said, but slowing down trains in the station could be an effective short-term response.

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