Stand clear of the conductor’s cab.
MTA and union officials are testing out platform decals near the conductor’s window at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue station in hopes that it prevents riders from attacking or spitting on conductors.
“The thought process was, if we could create a distance for conductors as the train enters the station, where customers do not stand, it gives a level of comfort to the conductor,” Demetrius Crichlow, the senior vice president of subway for New York City Transit, said.
There were some people standing on the decal when NY1 visited the station. But Crichlow said a majority of conductors who reported back on the pilot said riders abided by the sign.
“They’ll still address customers for customer service. They will still have to lower the window, but it does give them the level of alertness that there might be a potential thing that they need to be aware of,” Crichlow said.
MTA officials reported an increase in assaults on conductors at the station.
The idea for the decals came from a worker safety panel consisting of New York City Transit and union officials.
Some riders who rely on conductors for help and safety welcomed it.
“You stand there for questions or you need your safety. If someone is bothering you they can call for help,” commuter Melvina Hasell said.
“I think it’s something that is very helpful. Sometimes I need information from the conductor,” commuter Mike Benyah said. “It’s a safety precaution that i think everyone needs and it makes riding on the subway very safe.”
John Chiarello, the safety director for Transport Workers Union Local 100, said he wants the decals to deter some riders from standing too close to the conductors.
“I think it’s gonna make customers aware that this position should not be crossed. ‘Can it stop anybody?’ Obviously not, because it’s only a decal on the floor, but the indications I’m getting from the field are that people are acknowledging or seeing this particular off-limits area,” he said.
The MTA and union officials are also going to pursue other safety measures, like buying buses designed to keep bus drivers and passengers apart, and deescalation training.