Sunday, April 20, 2014

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MTA Testing Technology Aimed At Preventing Deaths On Subway Tracks

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TWC News: MTA Testing Technology Aimed At Preventing Deaths On Subway Tracks
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing new technology aimed at preventing people from getting killed on the subway tracks. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

There are already warnings in the subway. Now, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is going a step further to try to prevent straphangers from getting hit by trains.

They're testing technology that would alert train operators of someone on the tracks ahead in time for them to hit the brakes.

"There needs to be something done about people falling onto tracks," said one person.

The pilot program comes after months of consideration, following a campaign for platform safety from the transit workers' union and some high-profile subway deaths.

"There's a lot of tragedies on the tracks, so we could avoid that," said one person.

So far this year, 144 people have been hit by subway trains, and 52 of them died.

The MTA wants to find out if technology that sends a web of laser beams across the tracks and sounds an alarm when broken or radio frequencies that detect intrusions can help lower the number of deaths by trains.

"I think like, really, anything. That sounds like an excellent idea," said one person.

"I think that's a good idea, because unfortunately, a lot of people think that their cellphones or purses or whatever they have that's valuable is more important to them than their life," said another.

While the consensus is that anything that can prevent a tragedy is good, some are still skeptical and think that riders should just be responsible.

"It's getting ridiculous. We have to babysit everybody. I can't agree with that," said one person. "People need to have enough sense to stay off the tracks."

The MTA is also looking into closed circuit television and thermal image cameras to monitor activity on the tracks.

A spokesman said that the testing program will continue as long as necessary to see what might work. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP