Deadly Train Crash Leads New Yorkers to Evaluate Safety While Utilizing Public Transportation This Holiday Season
As one of the largest cities in the world, New York City has developed an intricate network of buses, subways, light rails, ferries, and more to assist New York and New Jersey residents with easily and quickly navigating the city and commuting to and from work. Because New York City is notorious for bad traffic and skyrocketing parking rates, many individuals have turned to the convenience of public transportation to avoid the hassle of driving in the city. While many feel lulled into a sense of security while riding a train or bus, the recent deadly train crash in Hoboken awakened fears amongst New Yorkers about exactly how safe they are while aboard public transportation.
A study published in the Journal of Urban Health examines the safety risks of traveling on subway lines. With 7 million passengers each day taking a total of 1.7 billion rides annually, New York has the largest metro system in the United States and the seventh largest in the world. Safety on the city’s subway transit lines is a major concern for New Yorkers and for all who visit the city.
Approximately one death per week occurs in the New York subway system, according to MTA statistics. In 2013 alone, 151 people were struck by trains, resulting in 53 deaths. The financial costs of these accidents are staggering, and the emotional and personal costs can be immeasurable.
In late 2013, the MTA launched a pilot program to examine various “track intrusion” detection systems that would alert MTA staff if a person or object was on the tracks. Some of these systems rely on highly sophisticated technology, and supporters argue that their value in protecting lives is worth the cost of installing them in every subway terminal. Opponents, however, note that many of these technological systems have one major flaw: they don’t warn trains in time for operators to hit the brakes.