A New York Times story published this morning addresses the long-term problems subway conductors face after trains they are operating strike people who have fallen, jumped, or been pushed onto the tracks.The article notes several rules of thumbs for operators, which drive home how this is not something that happens to an unlucky few, but is a constant threat to all.
One rule is to expect a death on the tracks somewhere in the system about once a week, and more around the holidays.
Another, which emphasises how this is a problem that affects all operators, is “operators who go five years without a ’12-9′ — transit code for a passenger under a train — should count themselves lucky.”
The natural conclusion is that MTA operators expect to hit several people in the course of a lengthy career. According to the Times, operator Kevin Harrington, 61, has hit at least 10 people since 1984, and killed one.
In 2012, 54 people were killed by New York subways, a five-year high. 85 others were struck by trains and survived.
Considering the MTA is in no position to spend the estimated $500 million is would cost to install sliding doors to prevent falls onto the tracks, this problem is not likely to be solved anytime soon.
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