Nearly 3 years after the MTA closed a number of token booths, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 continues to fight for the return of them. Jose Martinez of NY1 has more in this report:
They’re not giving up.
The MTA has closed almost 180 subway token booths since 2010, but the Transport Workers Union Local 100 wants them reopened and staffed with its members.
“Things go wrong, and who do you look for? The cops can’t be everywhere in the whole entire system and the public really does rely on us,” said TWU Local 100 Member Paul Flores.
On Thursday, the union and several politicians rallied to restore token booths at stations where they’ve been closed, saying the workers provide a needed service to straphangers and serve as the system’s eyes and ears.
“Machines can’t do the job that we do. They’re constantly out of service,” said TWU Local 100 Member Derick Echevarria.
The MTA says it has no plans to reopen any booths, and that at least one booth is staffed in each of the system’s 468 stations.
That didn’t stop transit workers from collecting signatures for a petition calling for the booths to be restored.
The union says station agents and token booth clerks serve a valuable purpose, and many New Yorkers seem to agree.
“It’s not the most pressing issue for me, to be honest. I think there needs to be more money invested in repairs, but I think it brings jobs,” said one straphanger.
Click here for the complete report.
To be honest, this is not a fight I see the TWU Local 100 winning as besides the financial costs involved, the time that has elapsed since their departure continues to grow. Personally I would like to see at least some of the booths return as not only would it help create some jobs, it will serve as a help to straphangers.
Personally I would love to see them back when it comes to being able to handle Metrocard issues. I have lost count on how many times I have run into having my fare taken off of my pay per ride Metrocard yet I could not go through due to the dreaded “Insufficient Fare” message. I & many others should not have to exit the station & walk up to 1-2 blocks away to an entrance with a staffed worker.
This is especially an issue at the 2nd Ave F station as the turnstiles on the 2nd Ave exit routinely eat fares which lead to many jumping the turnstiles. Honestly I do not blame them one bit for doing so especially when time is at a premium! For that reason alone (although others exist), I would like to see them come back. Also better maintenance of these turnstiles or better yet a better fare payment method that is with the times!
xoxo Transit Blogger