Disturbing or Effective? Bloody MTA MetroCards To Lessen Subway Deaths

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Metro Death Cards

Are these Metro(Death)Cards effective?

These blood-splattered mock MTA MetroCards are being used to promote NYC Public Transit Union‘s new campaign to slow down subway trains as they’re approaching stations following several recent subway deaths.

The “Metro(death)Cards,” which were handed out in Lower Manhattan this afternoon, feature bloody fingerprints, a warning: “Use at your own risk,” and a Grim Reaper with an outline of the union’s plan.

Metro Death Cards - Back

Back of Metro (Death)Cards

With subway deaths spiking in 2012 (55 people killed, up from 47 in 2011 — the highest number of deaths since 2007), slowing down trains when entering a station could give conductors more time to react if they see a person on the tracks.

“The union is sponsoring the outreach to bring public attention to the grave dangers facing passengers every day on the tracks,” said a union spokesman, who said that, while the MTA is investigating “numerous high-tech solutions that would cost billions of dollars and take decades to implement,” the union already has “a quick, easy and no-cost solution.”

Other safety ideas have included the installation of expensive platform screen doors — as we’ve seen in European subways and in Hong Kong, “intrusion technology” to sound alerts when someone steps onto the tracks, as well as the union’s slow-down plan.

MTA Bedford Ave EmergencyThe MTA argues that slowing trains would worsen crowding on trains and platforms, making them more dangerous.

“We want to work with the TWU on an increased public education campaign… to remind customers to be aware of their surroundings and stay away from platform edges,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg, who noted the MTA has already unveiled plans for danger warnings in all subway cars, along with a paid media campaign, enhanced station announcements, and new safety fliers.

DNAInfo notes that out of the 141 recorded incidents in which a train struck a person last year, 54 were caused by tripping and falling, 33 happened after people intentionally entered the tracks to retrieve lost items, trespass or cross the tracks, and another 33 were caused by people jumping in a suicide attempt, officials said.

Someone being pushed or bumped onto the tracks accounted for five of the incidents and a quarter of the incidents involved drugs or alcohol.

Those of us that have to endure the NYC subway system can probably all agree; it’s long overdue for safety improvements.

What do you think of the cards? Are they effective advertising or just disgusting?




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