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How safe is the New York subway?

In the state of New York, and particularly in New York City, people rely on mass transit for daily transportation to and from work. Most people do not think about the inherent risks of taking mass transport.

Despite the fact that there are many safety precautions in place to protect riders on the city’s subway system, there is still a risk of accidents and serious injuries. Accidents can result from negligence on the part of the system’s operators or equipment, as well as risks and hazards in the stations themselves from other passengers or unsafe behavior on the part of riders.

Fatalities continue despite decrease

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, MTA, said that fatalities on its subway system went down in 2016, in part due to various public awareness campaigns it has conducted to increase rider safety. It said 48 people died as a result of subway accidents that year. Many riders said they follow specific safety practices, such as staying well behind the safety lines on the platforms, in order to avoid accidents.

That points to rider responsibility for some of the accidents and fatalities. However, some cases are also due to negligence on the part of MTA, or the broader New York City Transit Authority, NYCTA, which has responsibility for the entire system, including New York city bus accidents. Pedestrians and drivers can be victims of negligence by the NYCTA, as well as the system’s users.

Ways to improve safety

In terms of how riders can increase their own personal safety while riding the NYC subway, the MTA has some suggestions. Riders can help protect themselves and others from threats due to other riders by increasing their awareness of suspicious behavior in subway stations or on the trains themselves. The MTA has run a successful public awareness campaign called “If You See Something, Say Something” for several years. In terms of avoiding accidents on the trains, riders should obey all the posted regulations in the subway and respect safe distances for boarding and disembarking.

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