Straphangers said they feel shafted by the MTA’s proposal to remove operators from subway system elevators.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to transfer the workers from the five manned elevators as part of its cost-cutting proposal.
The manned elevators are at the 191st, 181st and 168th St. stations on the 1 line and 190th and 181st St. stations on the A line.
“I won’t even get into an elevator if there’s not an operator in it,” said Maria Trevino, 54, a home attendant who said she has been stuck in an elevator at the 181st St. station.
“If it stops, people panic, people get respiratory problems, they think they’re going to die. You need somebody there with you to calm them down.”
Other passengers said safety was a concern.
“If someone strange comes in, you want someone there with you,” said student Jennifer Cerda, riding the 168th St. lift yesterday.
“They also control crowds of people,” said Kathy Corbera, a 60-year-old doctor at 168th St.
“You get long lines of people stretching down the corridor onto the platform. You need someone to direct those crowds, and people respond to authority.”
The elevators are manned in stations so deep that taking the staircase is not an option. They are usually operated by MTA employees with disabilities, staff said yesterday.
“I expect we’d be transferred into other nonstrenuous jobs,” said Claude Herbert, 70, who has an injured knee and operates the 181st. St. elevator.
“I don’t know what else I could do.”
This really is a tough call as I said in a prior entry, I can see both sides of the issue. The safety issue is definitely a legitimate one when it comes to riding these specific elevators. The crowd control is also a big issue considering how out of control it would be if no operator was present. However I can also see where the MTA can save much needed money. Quite frankly I think it would be fair for the MTA to look at possible cuts in other areas before going through with this proposal. I am sure they can find plenty of other areas where they can save the same amount of money if not more.
xoxo Transit Blogger