The head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York is urging people to stay away from the edge of subway platforms after multiple cases of people being pushed onto the tracks in recent weeks.
“These incidents are unacceptable and have to stop,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber told local news outlet WABC on Sunday.
“I don’t want to tell people that they should stand on subway platforms and feel like they’re, you know, in threat of their lives,” he added. “But everybody should stand away from the edge of the platform.”
Lieber said that the transit authority is also looking into making changes to the platforms, such as platform screen doors. However, he said there are issues that the MTA must consider, such as the “ability to maintain ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessibility,” according to the outlet.
He continued that there were also physical challenges in making changes to the platform.
“Literally, the structure of our very old, 100-year-old stations don’t accommodate it,” Lieber said. “And there’s some real ventilation issues: How will we ventilate — for fire code safety and for human comfort — in that event?”
His statements come after a 62-year-old man was pushed onto the southbound train tracks at the Fulton subway station in Lower Manhattan Sunday morning. The man climbed out of the tracks and was taken to a hospital with a leg laceration.
And just one week ago, 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go was killed after being pushed onto the tracks before an oncoming train.
Following the incident, New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) addressed the anxieties surrounding public transportation, saying that he felt unsafe riding the city’s subway.
“On day one, I took the subway system, I felt unsafe,” Adams said, referencing when he rode the train shortly after taking the oath of office. “I saw homeless everywhere. People were yelling on the trains. There was a feeling of disorder. So as we deal with the crime problem, we also have to deal with the fact people feel unsafe.”