MTA considers sliding doors on subway platforms

February 1, 2011 2:37:40 PM PST
Everyday more than 5 million people turn to the New York City subway system to get around town, and the only thing that separates them from incoming trains, is a thick yellow stripe.

But the MTA is now taking a hard look at making the platforms safer.

In December, it sent out a request for information to companies that make sliding mechanical doors.

The doors would be installed on the platforms and prevent commuters from falling onto the tracks.

"I like the idea," said one commuter.

Just this past Sunday, 24-year-old Brendan Mahoney was killed on the tracks at the Halsey Street Station in Brooklyn.

In 2009 alone, 90 people were struck by trains, 40 died.

A possible model for what the MTA is looking at already exists.

Both the Roosevelt Island Tram and the Air Train have sliding passenger doors on their platforms.

"They work great," said Fernando Martinez, of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.

But they are not cheap.

Roosevelt Island paid $75,000 to $90,000 per door for eight sliding doors.

The MTA's need would be far greater.

"Where are they going to get the money," said one commuter.

"We don't need them," said another.

The doors could possibly be partially sponsored by advertisements to help defray costs.

The MTA hopes to hear back from manufactures by March, but no date for installing them is in place.