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NY Post
New York Post
3 Jun 2023

NextImg:NYC set to begin constructing subway platform gates to prevent passengers from falling on tracks: MTA

The MTA is nearing construction on its $100 million pilot project to outfit three subway stations with platform gates to prevent passengers from falling — or being pushed on the tracks.

The city is currently finishing up the initial designs for platform barriers and will begin construction in the coming months, MTA spokeswoman Joana Flores told The Post.

The work couldn’t come sooner.

Last week, Kamal Semrade, 39, was arrested for allegedly hurling 35-year-old straphanger Emine Ozsoy onto the tracks at the Lexington Avenue and 63rd street station, leaving her paralyzed, on May 21.

“We want to see the book thrown at this guy, whoever he is,” MTA CEO Janno Lieber said at an MTA board meeting last week. “Whatever his motivation, we need our riders to know that those kinds of people are going to suffer the maximum consequences if they do something like that.”

Platform gates are used to prevent passengers from falling on subway tracks around the world, including at the Saleh Daeng station in Bangkok, Thailand.
Christoph Sator/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Leiber added the process of creating and installing the screens was underway.

The project was announced in February 2022 after commuter Michelle Go was killed by an homeless man who shoved her in front of an oncoming train on Jan 15. 2022 at the Times Square-42nd Street Station, which is one of the three stations set to be outfitted with the platform screens.

The other two are Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue Station, and the 3rd Avenue Station.

JR Shinkoiwa Station
Platform gates are also used in subway stations in Tokyo.

At least 56 construction and engineering companies have shown interest in bidding on the massive contract, although the state has yet to settle on a vendor.

Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for Riders Alliance, said the protective barriers could have prevented deaths, but it’s far from a fix-all.

“While platform screen doors might have prevented [Go’s] killing in the way that it happened, It happened on the same subway platform where there were police officers,” Pearlstein said.

“There are only certain types of things that platform screens can solve,” He added. “They are no panacea. They are no blanket solution to the intersecting crisis on the subway.”

Similar protective gates are already being used around the world including in Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, São Paolo, and Hong Kong.

At least 25 people were shoved onto the tracks last year — an increase from 21 the year prior. 

Three people had been pushed onto the tracks this year as of May 21, according to the the NYPD, which is a drop from nine such incidents that occurred in the first five months of last year.

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