When you are a regular subway rider, some things are just expected as they come with the territory. Whether it be dirty stations, seeing rats roaming the platform & tracks, or seeing vandals selling MetroCard swipes. It turns out that the latter has become an issue at the 181st Street station on the A where straphangers are forced to buy swipes. Carla Zanoni of DNA Info has more:
Officials are investigating a growing problem with vandalism and predatory activity at an unmanned train station in Hudson Heights, according to police and the MTA.
Since the removal of a station agent at the A train station at 181st Street and Fort Washington Avenue last summer, residents have complained that a group of men rig the MTA’s MetroCard machines so passengers cannot buy a card at the station and are forced to buy swipes from them if they want to gain entrance at the station.
During a Town Hall meeting organized by State Senator Adriano Espaillat on Wednesday evening, MTA spokesman Marcus Book said that the problem had been brought to his attention two weeks ago.
“We have an eye on the problem,” Book said, adding that the MTA is in talks with police from the 34th precinct to secure the station. The MTA spokesman and a representative from the precinct said they were jointly examining the possibility of putting a surveillance camera in the unmanned booth.
Click here for the complete report.
When the list of stations that were losing agents came out, I was very shocked that this one was on the list. The station has a laundry list of problems & one of them was the never ending issues with the MetroCard vending machines.
Now you throw in vandals altering the machines & it turns into a whole big mess. Also I can’t underestimate the potential safety issues here for riders. It is good to know that the MTA is aware of the problem & hope that they along with the 34th Precinct come up with a solution fast.
xoxo Transit Blogger