As a result of the unprecedented rise of subway platform shoving, the MTA has initiated the Platform Barrier Program which unfortunately comes with its own set of obstacles.
Janno Lieber, the new chair and CEO of the MTA said on Thursday that while there are serious challenges when it comes to installing subway platform safety barriers, there are a number of stations where it would be feasible, and the agency would like to go ahead with a pilot program.
“There are serious challenges to installing — we have three different cars with doors in different places. ADA access for wheelchairs is an issue,” Lieber said on “The Brian Lehrer Show,” also noting that some platforms are too narrow or unable to bear the extra weight. Lieber said that, after analyzing the engineering at each station, the agency has identified “40-100 stations where platform barriers are possible” and said he would like to go ahead with a pilot program to test them. The MTA released a nearly 4,000-page document to prove that it has looked into the issue, finding many challenges.
As it stands, the installation of these barriers could cost billions of dollars, which Lieber acknowledged would be a “challenge.” The city needs to fund the MTA “as an essential service,” in order to successfully go through with the program, and Lieber hopes that congestion pricing in Manhattan’s central business district, will help with funding long-term.
For the time being, in order to combat the rising number of Subway crimes, the NYPD told riders that they will see more cops on platforms and trains. That is in addition to the governor’s pledge to funnel mental health services into the system.