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Home Travel New York Subway Stations Implement Dangerous New Fare-Dodging Deterrent

New York Subway Stations Implement Dangerous New Fare-Dodging Deterrent

by Staff

The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) has come up with an extremely dangerous new way to prevent people from fare-dodging.

By the end of February, three train stations in New York will have a timer placed on their emergency exits giving them a fifteen-second delay. This means that fare-dodgers won’t be able to skip the turnstiles by going through the emergency gate … and it also means that people, potentially whole crowds of people, will be fifteen seconds away from an exit in the case of actual emergency. And this will most likely disproportionately affect disabled people.

According to news reports, three stations will be affected: the 138 Street-3rd Avenue station, the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station, and the Flushing Avenue station. The former two stations are not ADA-accessible; Flushing Avenue, however, is supposed to be.

Passenger safety

This absolutely terrible idea was promoted by NYC Transit President Richard Davey, who declared on Monday that the goal of the scheme was “to frustrate folks who might want to be using [the emergency exit] as a matter of convenience, where you have a perfectly good turnstile next to it.” But he’s missing the very important fact that in an emergency situation, plenty of disabled people may not be able to use the turnstiles, and will have to wait fifteen seconds for the accessible emergency door to open. And as the MTA and indeed everyone else should be aware, fires, floods, and active shooters do not wait fifteen seconds.

The MTA President of Construction and Development, Jamie Torres-Springer, says (per Gothamist), “We’ve been very careful about this, gone to the state code authority and gotten a waiver, which is basically everyone saying that we still have a safe station.” But would you feel safe in a train station knowing that the emergency doors will delay for fifteen seconds should an emergency take place, and that it’s all for the sake of profit?

Advocates are speaking out

Disability advocate Rebecca Lamorte, who was also an Upper East Side City Council candidate, spoke to the Upper East Site yesterday about how disabled people’s complaints are being ignored and how they are at increased risk if any sort of attack or disaster takes place. She cited the April 2022 Brooklyn subway shooting, an incident where thankfully no one was killed but multiple people were injured, and recollected how some disabled people were unable to get away after the shooting began. They were trapped in a horrifying situation because the subway system caters so poorly to them.

Let us all hope that the MTA will see sense and stop this scheme before it’s too late.

(featured image: Valery Anatolievich/Pexels)

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