New York Subway Platforms Are “Dangerously Hot,” Everything Is Breaking

September 3, 2014 | Marina Galperina

According to an MTA panel draft report, climate change is wreaking havoc on New York’s crucial transport system, inside and out. Experts fear that this is causing equipment to break down and structures to be damaged, notes Capital New York. The ever-climbing temperatures on platforms are posing increasing health risks to commuters.

Flooding is not the only climate change risk to the system. Extreme temperatures, particularly rising temperatures in the summer months, can stress the M.T.A. system. At higher temperatures, expansion joints on bridges and highways are stressed, and the instance of rail track stresses and track buckling increases. Underground, subway platforms and stations could become dangerously hot for riders.

Richard Barone, the director of transportation programs at the Regional Plan Association, has suggested several improvements, such as lighter trains that use less energy and expel less heat, as well as the installation of air conditioning systems and cooling stations on platforms.

There is only one air conditioned platform in New York — the 4, 5, 6 platform in Grand Central Station — and it “doesn’t work very well.” The same platform screen doors considered by the MTA for preventing suicides and “push deaths” could also help make platform air conditioning systems more effective by not allowing cool air to escape through the tunnels. (Photo: @larimdame)