Manhattan officials ask MTA to ‘quickly’ test subway platform barriers after fatal shove


Manhattan officials ask MTA to ‘quickly’ test subway platform barriers after fatal shove
Manhattan officials are calling on the MTA to test subway platform barriers in their borough. Stephen Yang

Manhattan’s leading elected officials want the MTA to “move as quickly as possible” to test platform barriers at subway stations in their borough after last week’s fatal shoving death of Michelle Go in Times Square.

Borough President Mark Levine said the MTA must overcome its longstanding reluctance to embrace platform barriers, which officials have warned would be incredibly complicated to make happen at many stations.

“The density and crowding of subways here … makes our stations more vulnerable,” Levine said in an interview Sunday. “It’s true that we have a huge number of needs and finite resources, but this would amount to a small fraction of the capital budget.”

In a letter to MTA Chair Janno Lieber, Levine and all 10 council members representing his borough said platform screen doors “must be given the priority they deserve, studied, and funded for installation.”

“Each year, hundreds of New Yorkers enter subway tracks via accidental fall, trespassing, suicide attempts, and, in rare cases, being pushed. The tragic loss of Michelle Go on January 15th is but the most recent painful example,” they wrote.

Manhattan officials ask MTA to ‘quickly’ test subway platform barriers after fatal shove
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine claimed that Manhattan subway commutes are more vulnerable to subway shoves because of the crowded platforms at busy stations.
Stefan Jeremiah

A 2019 MTA study reported by NY1 concluded that platform doors were only feasible at 128 of the subway’s 472 stations. Installing floor-to-ceiling gates at those stations would cost over $7 billion, the study found.

Lieber last week said the MTA would explore the feasibility of platform barriers among other solutions to various types of “track intrusions.”

In an interview with ABC7 New York that aired on Sunday, the newly confirmed MTA boss said the challenge of installing barriers “is not a matter of cost.”

Manhattan officials ask MTA to ‘quickly’ test subway platform barriers after fatal shove
MTA Chair Janno Lieber said that platform barriers are currently being considered.
Paul Martinka
Manhattan officials ask MTA to ‘quickly’ test subway platform barriers after fatal shove
Lieber claimed that installing barriers “is not a matter of cost.”
Robert Mecea

“There are some physical constraints,” he said. “But we’re studying it again, and we are interested in seeing whether there are opportunities to install it, especially in some of the more, the busier stations where you get a little more crowded.”

Levine told The Post platform barriers could “transform people’s understanding of what a subway station can be.”

“This is not just about preventing people from being pushed on the tracks — which is horrific but, thank God, rare,” he said. “It’s also about preventing people from falling, from dropping their iPhones on the tracks, from suicide attempts. And it will prevent delays, because one of the main causes of delays is track fires.”