NYC set to begin constructing subway platform gates in coming months: MTA
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is moving forward with its pilot project aimed at preventing passengers from falling or being pushed onto subway tracks. The project, estimated at $100 million, will equip three subway stations with platform gates to keep passengers from falling on the tracks. Initial designs for platform barriers are being finalized, and construction is expected to begin in the coming months, said MTA spokeswoman Joana Flores. The Gates will be installed at the Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street Station, the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue Station, and the 3rd Avenue Station. Platform gates exist in subway stations worldwide, including in Tokyo, Bangkok, Paris, Barcelona, São Paolo, and Hong Kong. At least 56 construction and engineering companies have shown interest in bidding for the New York project, but the state has not yet chosen a vendor.
Last week, Kamal Semrade was arrested for allegedly pushing a fellow commuter onto the tracks, causing her to become paralyzed. The incident took place at the Lexington Avenue and 63rd street station, one of the planned locations for platform barriers. Over the past year, at least 25 people have been shoved onto subway tracks. The project was announced in February of this year, following the death of Michelle Go, who was killed at the Times Square-42nd Street Station, another location that is set to receive the platform screens.
While the platform screens may have prevented some deaths, Danny Pearlstein, Policy and Communications Director for Riders Alliance, said it does not solve all the problems faced by the subway system. He added, “There are only certain types of things that platform screens can solve. They are no panacea. They are no blanket solution to the intersecting crisis on the subway.”
What is the platform gates project?
The project aims to equip three subway stations in New York City with platform gates to prevent passengers from falling, being pushed, or jumping onto tracks.
Where will the gates be installed?
The gates will be installed at Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street Station, Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue Station, and the 3rd Avenue Station.
When will construction begin?
Construction is expected to begin in the coming months, as initial designs for platform barriers are being finalized.
How much will the project cost?
The project is estimated at $100 million.
Are there platform gates installed in other subway systems?
Yes, platform gates are used in subway stations worldwide, including in Tokyo, Bangkok, Paris, Barcelona, São Paolo, and Hong Kong.
MTA announces plan to construct subway platform gates in NYC within the next few months.
The MTA is almost ready to begin its $100 million pilot project which will place platform gates in three subway stations, according to Joana Flores, spokesperson for the MTA. These gates will prevent passengers from falling, or being pushed, onto the tracks. The designs for the platform barriers are being finalized and the construction is set to start soon. The need for this project is highlighted by last week’s arrest of Kamal Semrade, 39, who allegedly pushed 35-year-old Emine Ozsoy onto the tracks of the Lexington Avenue and 63rd street station, paralyzing her. MTA CEO, Janno Lieber spoke out against the perpetrator, saying, “We want to see the book thrown at this guy, whoever he is…we need our riders to know that those kinds of people are going to suffer the maximum consequences if they do something like that.” Platform gates have been used in order to prevent similar accidents in subway stations around the world, such as at the Saleh Daeng station in Bangkok, Thailand.
The project was first announced in February 2022 after Michelle Go was killed by a homeless man who pushed her in front of an oncoming train on January 15, 2022, at Times Square-42nd Street Station – which is one of the three stations chosen for the platform screens. The other two stations include Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue Station and the 3rd Avenue Station. The MTA is currently sorting through 56 construction and engineering companies that have shown interest in bidding on the project and deciding on a final vendor.
While the platform screens have the potential to prevent fatalities, Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for Riders Alliance, warns that the screens are far from a fix-all solution to the ongoing issue. He stated, “While platform screen doors might have prevented [Go’s] killing in the way that it happened, it happened on the same subway platform where there were police officers…They are no panacea. They are no blanket solution to the intersecting crisis on the subway.”
Subway stations in Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, São Paolo, and Hong Kong also have protective gates already implemented. According to the NYPD, 25 people were pushed onto the tracks last year, which is an increase from the 21 incidents that occurred the previous year. Three individuals were pushed onto the tracks as of May 21 this year, a decrease from the nine incidents that occurred during the first five months of last year.