The MTA Might Stop at Nothing to Keep Us From Falling in the Subway Tracks

Your subway of the future might look like this.
Your subway of the future might look like this.

Today in things that may never happen: In the wake of the most recent New York City subway death, that of a 24-year-old who was killed by an L train this Sunday after taking to the tracks in a possible attempt to retrieve something, the MTA is saying they're considering putting mechanical metal-and-glass doors along platform edges that would only open after a train stops in a station. This would be similar to what you see on the AirTrain, or, say, Houston airport when you're traveling between terminals.

In 2009 90 people were hit by trains, reports the Daily News, and 40 died. If these walls actually happen, they could prevent one of our greatest New York City fears -- being pushed or seeing someone else be pushed or fall into the tracks.

Of course, what happens when the doors fail to open, when the doors fail to close, or when something, inevitably, goes wrong?

This may all be a moot point given the MTA's financial woes. Though, according to the News, one plan would let whoever builds the doors take a portion of the ad revenue from the ads that will inevitably be plastered all over them. One more surface for branding!

Kevin Ortiz at the MTA told us, "There's no cost associated with [the plan] at this point; it's very, very, very early in the process," and said the MTA wouldn't elaborate at this time as to how ads might be used to offset cost.

But if walls are what finally keeps us away from an untimely death, a delay, or uncomfortable proximity to subway rats -- and the MTA away from any number of lawsuits...maybe living in ad-world is worth it. We'll see...

Then again, if we're that hell-bent on ending up on the subway tracks, there's probably no wall that can prevent us from getting our way.

MTA eyes sliding doors on subway platforms to prevent falls onto tracks, litter thrown onto rails [NYDN]


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