New York Subways Could See Platform Barriers Soon Amid Train Crime Spikes

New York City could see subway platform barriers soon following calls to install them and support from Mayor Eric Adams, as the city has faced an increase in crime, including within the subway system.

"I love the idea," Adams said when asked about the installation of subway platform barriers during an interview with Pix 11 News on Thursday. "I actually had [talked to] leaders in this industry when I was the borough president. We attempted to do so. The MTA was slow on moving forward with it. I think it's far time now."

Adams' comments came ahead of his scheduled meeting with President Joe Biden, where the two will speak with New York Police Department (NYPD) officials and work to combat the rise of violence in the city and the flow of illegal guns.

During the interview on Thursday, Adams said that he thinks the subway platform barriers are "a good way to alleviate people being pushed to the tracks," he noted that the "technology should not be a replacement from the fact that our subway system must be safe."

Adams also noted that other countries have used subway platform barriers to avoid injuries and crimes within the subway systems.

Following a rise in subway crimes in New York City, such as the attack against 40-year-old Michelle Go, who was pushed on the tracks into an oncoming subway by a homeless man, members of the Manhattan City Council have called on the MTA to install subway platform barriers.

Members of the Manhattan City Council recently penned a letter to MTA Chair Janno Lieber, in which they said that subway platform barriers should be "given the priority they deserve, studied, and funded for installation."

During a press conference in January, Lieber said, "Platform doors are an idea that works in many places, but there are some special complexities in New York because of the age of our system, because of the location of structure, because it does interfere with ADA accessibility."

In a statement sent to Newsweek on Thursday, a spokesperson for the MTA said, "The MTA has looked at this issue and identified a number of hurdles to outfitting the system with platform-edge doors, including train door misalignment, column placement, platform construction and the need to maintain or create accessibility in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act."

The statement continued, "Last month, the MTA established a Track Intrusion Task Force to aggressively find solutions for the detection and prevention of incidents of trains striking people on tracks. That work is underway."

According to NYPD previously provided to Newsweek, in 2021, the city had 461 felony assaults within the subway systems, an increase of 100 when compared to 2020.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Adams' office said, "The mayor believes that installing platforms doors where possible is one part of the solution to make the subways safe, and he is glad the MTA is seriously considering it."

NYC Subway
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Thursday that he loves the idea of installing subway platform barriers amid a rise in crime within the city's subway system. Above, people enter a subway car at Times Square October 26, 2004, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty