A shocking subway accident in The Bronx has many questioning whether or not the MTA is doing enough to protect New Yorkers in the underground. Last May an elderly wheelchair-bound man was killed when his wheelchair rolled off the platform and onto the tracks directly in front of an oncoming train at the Intervale Avenue station in Longwood. The man was crushed and killed instantly. Now safety advocates are saying New York’s mass transit system could be doing more to prevent such accidents.
For years victims’ advocates and safety experts have been questioning the MTA’s reluctance to install safety devices trackside. Such devices have been employed elsewhere (including Singapore, Beijing, and Paris) and to a great effect has helped keep individuals safe from accidently or purposefully placing themselves in harm’s way. In a 2013 article in Business Insider, investigative reporter Alex Davies said that although the MTA cites technical difficulties, the main reason behind why they are unwilling to install these life-saving barriers is cost. Estimates put the cost of safety barrier installation at roughly $1 million per station.
Likewise, critics have repeatedly questioned why trains are entering the station travel at such high rates of speed, leaving operators little or no time to react to emergency situations in the station. Even the Union of Subway Drivers has urged for slower speeds but the MTA responded by saying that even a 1 or 2 mile per hour drop in speed would cause irreparable damage to the sensitive time schedules across all the City’s rail lines and decrease the number of trips (and thus fares) per day. The MTA was so hostile to this idea that it sent cease and desist letters to the Union organizer disseminating safety pamphlets advocating slower speeds.
This attitude persists despite the dramatic increase in subway accidents over the past few years (including fatalities).
If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind train accident, contact an experienced New York City subway accident attorney immediately to learn your rights. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122.