MTA wants to waste $100 million


To the editor:

There are better ways for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to spend $100 million than the installation of platform gates at three NYC Transit subway stations.

These include the Times Square 7 train, Third Avenue 14th Street L train, and Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue E train stations. Worse would be spending billions more to do the same at even more stations.   

Only 128 of the 472 stations can accommodate platform gates. According to a MTA report issued in 2019, it would cost $7 billion to install barriers at all 472 system-wide stations. With inflation, who knows how many billions more it would cost.

There are many stations that, due to curving platforms and other obstacles, could not physically accommodate them. It will do nothing to prevent criminals from pushing people down a flight of stairs at street level entrances or inside stations.

This expenditure of increasingly scarce capital funding would do little to attract all 5 million-plus pre Covid-19 NYC Transit subway riders. Better to spend these funds for more transit police. They could assist the MTA in dealing with the far more frequent daily occurrence of muggings, robbery, fare evasion, vandalism, urination, defecation, panhandling and the homeless taking over whole subway cars or sleeping on platform benches. This adversely impacts both commuters and NYC Transit employees.

Investing $100 million would go a long way toward paying to assign a transit police officer to ride each train and patrol all 472 stations 24/7. Installation of security cameras on trains and more stations would serve as a better deterrent against crime, fare evasion and vandalism. 

There is also the need to increase fines and penalties as a deterrent for those who don’t pay their fare, commit assaults or vandalism. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and other DAs must follow up and prosecute those who commit these acts.

End revolving door justice where the same criminals are released without bail. Too many return to our transit system within days to commit the same offenses.   

Larry Penner

Larry Penner, MTA, crime, Covid-19