Transport Workers Union Calls for Slower Trains, Butts Heads With MTA

January 15, 2013 | Andy Cush

In response to the recent spat of subway-related deaths, the train operators union has called for drivers to drastically reduce their speed when entering a station. A memo distributed by the union urges operators to “enter every station as if there is a pair of yellow lanterns at the entrance,” a sign which calls for trains to proceed to the platform at 10 mph. “[S]aving yourself the emotional trauma and potential loss of income that go with” a death are worth adding a few minutes to the trip, it continues.

The MTA, however, is not happy with the union’s stance, and argues that enacting it without their approval would constitute an illegal job action. The authority has advised the Transit Workers Union Local 100 to stop posting the communications and operators to disregard them. “There are other, more effective ways of making the system safer,” said MTA spokesman Charles Seaton, arguing that slower trains would lead to more crowded platforms, which may increase the likelihood of a fall.

According to union spokesperson¬†John Samuelsen, by opposing the TWU’s stance on train speeds, the MTA is “acknowledging that rider safety is a second priority to them.”

(Photo: Dan Dilworth/Flickr)