Yesterday’s Daily News provided some MTA comic relief. The relief was so funny, it could last for awhile! The New York Daily News’ transit reporter Pete Donohue wrote about a request/warning the MTA will pass on to straphangers. The request/warning has to deal with the use of cell phones or other electronic devices underground during extreme emergencies.
According to MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin, the MTA does not want straphangers to attempt to contact anyone during an extreme emergency. Their fear is the use of cell phones or other electronic devices could trigger explosive devices. Mr. Soffin explained the MTA’s stance:
“In the immediate aftermath of an incident, our employees need the full attention of our customers to ensure the fastest and safest communication of information and potential evacuation. We also exercise extreme caution in limiting use of any electronic device that could potentially serve as an accidental detonator during such an incident.”
Mr. Soffin also shared a comment about the potential calling of 911 or other emergency services during an extreme emergency. This was his comment in regards to the MTA’s line of thinking:
“These are situations when there is clearly an MTA employee responding and communicating with emergency responders.”
I have to die laughing (no pun intended) at the MTA’s request/warning. Lets just use a little common sense & examine a possible extreme emergency scenario. When such a scenario would take place, the first initial thoughts are how to get out alive, & to contact loved ones as soon as possible. This would all take place while trying to pick up information from employees. Assuming the scenario is of a possible doomsday scenario, do you really think communication between employees & straphangers will be that good to begin with?
Does the MTA really think people are going to just sit or stand around twiddling their thumbs? No, people will attempt to contact loved ones as that action is wired into one from birth. While I can understand the fear to some degree about possible detonation, the predetermined mentality of contact will override the MTA’s request/warning.
I seriously think the MTA should move out of the transportation world & enter into the world of comedy. They have truly missed their calling!