NYC subway-station booths could close under a proposed pilot program

Sources told the Daily News that MTA workers at 25 stations could be reassigned to other duties if the program comes to fruition

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Subway booth at Knickerbocker Ave in Bushwick

Subway booth at Knickerbocker Ave in Bushwick Photograph: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin

It was only a few years ago that the MTA laid off hundreds of subway-station agents, as part of a plan to implement systemwide budget cuts; now there's a chance that the agency may be preparing to make even further changes to NYC subway booths.


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According to a report in the Daily News, the MTA is considering a pilot program that would eliminate booths at 25 stations throughout the system, and the agents in those booths would be reassigned to other tasks, such as helping sick passengers or directing people on crowded platforms. An anonymous MTA source was quoted as saying, "The idea is an employee can do a lot more for customers outside of the booth than inside," which is certainly possible. But there's also the argument that commuters who are experiencing problems—such as broken vending machines or messed-up Metrocards or even altercations on platforms—would suffer if booths were eliminated.


There's no word on which stations could be affected; the MTA wouldn't confirm any details, since the proposal was reportedly discussed during contract negotiations with TWU Local 100, the union that represents transit workers. But we want to hear from commuters—do you think the plan is a good idea? Or would you prefer to have the old-school booths remain?



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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