New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0582-2010    Version: * Name: MTA to unlock doors between cars on NYC subway trains.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Transportation
On agenda: 11/30/2010
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to unlock doors between cars on New York City subway trains.
Sponsors: Letitia James, Fernando Cabrera , Margaret S. Chin, Jumaane D. Williams
Council Member Sponsors: 4
Res. No. 582
 
Resolution calling upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to unlock doors between cars on New York City subway trains.
 
By Council Members James, Cabrera, Chin and Williams
Whereas, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) enacted a rule in 2005, which states that "No person may use the end doors of a subway car to pass from one subway car to another except in an emergency or when directed to do so by an Authority conductor or a New York City police officer;" and
Whereas, This rule was enacted in order to ensure the safety of subway riders, especially during a time when the threat of terrorism has significantly heightened; and
Whereas, The MTA also claims that these doors are locked to prevent passenger injuries or fatalities as a result of falling between subway cars, however, passenger injuries or fatalities are extremely rare according to the New York Times; and
Whereas, The MTA New York City Transit website states that most subway accidents result from slips, trips, and falls on stairways when someone is in a rush; and
Whereas, Although the MTA made the decision to lock the end doors of a subway car for the purpose of protecting the public, locking these doors might serve as a detriment to public safety because passengers would not be able to escape in the event of an emergency or any other potentially dangerous situation in which one's safety might be threatened, especially during non-rush hours; and
Whereas, Passengers, particularly women, fear being trapped in a locked car with a suspicious individual that may pose a threat to them; and
Whereas, When passengers believe that they are left with no option other than to ride a train and wait for it arrive at the next station stop before they can exit a car in which they feel vulnerable, the policy of locking the end doors of a subway car should be reconsidered; and
Whereas, There is no guarantee that in any serious emergency, train personnel will be alive, uninjured or otherwise readily available to assist in an evacuation; and
Whereas, Given these circumstances, it is imperative for the MTA to unlock all doors between subway cars on all transit lines operating in New York City to ensure that all passengers are able to escape from a dangerous or compromised car to a safe one, or to have the ability to leave a subway train entirely to get to the tracks and tunnels, if necessary; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to unlock doors between cars on New York City subway trains.
 
NL
LS # 1208
June 24, 2010
Res. No. 1307-2008
Committee on Transportation