The call to add more safety features to the New York City subway has been loud and long. And the MTA is finally starting to listen to concerned New Yorkers.
On Wednesday, February 23, the MTA announced that they will be testing out platform barrier doors at three busy subway stops. The trial platforms will be the 7 at Times Square, L at Third Avenue, and the E stop at Sutphin Boulevard station in Queens.
"It’s going to take a while. We’re going to put the money together, which is a little complicated," The MTA's CEO and Chairman Janno Lieber said in an interview on NY1 Wednesday morning. "Our goal is to try out these technologies, at different places in the system, including three stations, trying out platform doors."
From an engineering standpoint, these types of barriers to protect people from falling onto the tracks are not feasible at many subway stations. The three pilot stations were chosen due to their engineering and the potential ease with which barriers could be installed.
BREAKING: @MTA has announced pilot to install platform screen doors at 3 subway stations:— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) February 23, 2022
* Times Sq (7 train)
* 3rd Av (L)
* Sutphin Blvd (E)
This will be a huge win for safety & efficiency. Truly a milestone in the history of NYC’s subways. Congrats to all who fought for this.
In the interview, Lieber also added that additional new technologies will be piloted to help detect potential danger on the subways. For example, thermal technology and laser technology will help detect people on the tracks.
Several major cities with popular underground trains, like London and Paris, already use barrier doors to prevent people from falling or being pushed on the tracks. So far, no renderings are publicly available for what these barriers will look like and no timeline for their installation has been shared.
These efforts tie in with Mayor Adams' new longterm Subway Safety Plan, created in partnership with Governor Hochul. The plan is designed to make the subways a safer place for all, and provide support to unhoused people living in the subway system.