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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced a multipronged initiative to address track trespassing problems in the subway and on commuter-rail systems.
The MTA’s Track Trespassing Task Force, launched Dec. 10, 2021, studied solutions for reducing track intrusions, which have increased 20% since 2019 and resulted in 68 fatalities in 2021. After analyzing data on intrusions and collisions, the task force established a new tracking method focused at the causes and impacts of trespassing.
The task force made recommendations to MTA's board to better protect riders and prevent service disruptions. A full report will be available next month.
The recommendation build on the agency’s ongoing efforts, including messaging campaigns, in-station “Help Points,” platform edge warning strips and Laser Intrusion Detection Systems. The task force’s recommendations are divided into three categories: customer communications, operations and capital improvements. Following is a summary of what the new efforts entail:
Capital:• creating a platform screen doors pilot program at three subway stations;• launching a new track intrusion detection systems pilot that uses advanced technology to alert train operators when objects or people enter the tracks; and• securing the end of platform areas and rights-of-way at Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad stations, including live video from forward-facing cameras.
Operations:• enhancing mental health outreach services and platform safety through partnerships with the city and state;• deploying additional New York Police Department units as part of the subway safety plan to address the circumstances leading riders on the tracks at priority stations; and• adding video analytics to existing CCTV cameras that allow the MTA to monitor and intervene in displays of dangerous behavior.
Customer Communications:• creating a layered messaging campaign warning riders of the dangers of trespassing; and• partnering with New York University’s Department of Psychiatry and other local and national organizations to enhance suicide prevention messaging.