Every subway rider is familiar with being delayed by the "sick passenger." But those sick passengers are now being aided more quickly, according to the MTA, and cutting into the time trains are held up.
As part of the "Subway Action Plan" to cut into delays, the MTA now has EMTs posted at 12 hubs during the morning and evening rush — an increase from the five stations that received EMTs in July.
According to the MTA, the medical crews have been pressed into service 102 times as of Nov. 7, with EMTs at West 4th Street and 59th Street Columbus Circle getting the most "sick passenger" calls.
The MTA said that the presence of the crews has, on average, cut into "incident duration" by about three minutes, a spokesman for the agency told NY1.
"We are attacking the issue of getting help for our passengers in need faster while also keeping like trains moving — both of which are key priorities of the 'Subway Action Plan,'" MTA Spokesman Jon Weinstein told us.
He added that the agency is evaluating whether to expand the program.
In September, 2,519 weekday delays were blamed on "sick passengers." That's down from 2,868 in August, and 2,913 in May.
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 last week called for police officers to be posted at every terminal station to help protect train crews, and also to have an officer nearby if a passenger is incapacitated.
"Train crews are under commanders pressure to maintain schedules and mitigate delays. In addition to sick passengers, the homeless and inebriated riders also our challenges that need to be addressed more effectively," TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said.
According to new figures, subway delays are down ever since the MTA's plan for short-term fixes was implemented in July, with the more than 58,000 weekday delays in September, which is down from the peak of 67,000 weekday delays in May.