Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Will This Be The End Of Booths In NYC Subway Stations?

what to know

  • Metro users have seen them every day for decades: Metro agents inside token booths, helping lost tourists find their way underground, or helping people figure out why their Metro card no longer works.
  • But they haven’t sold access tokens, or tokens, in 20 years, and now agents will no longer be in booths, but they won’t leave.
  • With the replacement of the MetroCard by the OMNY touch-and-play system, the MTA is removing agents from its iconic glass booths and assigning them to roaming agents.

NEW YORK — Subway riders have seen them every day for decades: subway officials inside token booths, helping lost tourists find their way underground, or helping people figure out why their MetroCard no longer works.

But they haven’t sold access tokens, or tokens, in 20 years, and now agents will no longer be in booths, but they won’t leave.

With the replacement of the MetroCard by the OMNY touch-and-play system, the MTA is removing agents from its iconic glass booths and assigning them to roaming agents.

MTA officials said that at a time when public safety is the number one issue, officers have more eyes and ears than peeking out from behind glass.

“Being able to move behind a booth with a very limited view is a much better approach,” said Richard Dewey, president of MTA Transit.

It also means new training for agents.

Station agent Ymina Smith said, “It’s a little scary being here with people…we have to pay attention to our surroundings, look around us.”

The booths themselves will not be removed and will remain bulletproof as a security measure.

Dwayne Boothman, another station agent, said, “As long as the booths are there, we can get out, I don’t see a problem.”

The transit workers union agreed to the moving aspect of the job as a way to avoid layoffs.

TWU vice president Robert Kelly said, “OMNY poses a serious threat. We refuse to stay behind like toll attendants at toll booths on bridges and tunnels.”

Converting 2,000 cabin agents to roving agents will take some time and the program will start from February 1, 2023.

Nation World News Desk
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