MTA officials made good on their promise to remove the token booth clerk at the Carroll Street station’s President Street entrance, angering locals who fear for their security, but not moving their elected officials to action.
Two years ago, the cash-strapped transit agency targeted the booth for elimination as part of a “doomsday budget” — but relented under protest from Carroll Gardens residents.
As part of a compromise, the booth was saved until renovations were completed to the nearby Second Street entrance.
Those renovations are done — so the MTA quietly removed the booth earlier this month, and residents are feeling insecure again.
“When I’m waiting for the train at off-hours, I would wait closer to the booth, because there’s an extra set of eyes there,” said Amanda, a Carroll Gardens resident who declined to give her last name.
Station agent booths often give riders a sense of security, but the MTA said it believes that police officers are more than capable for straphanger’s safety.
“The NYPD has the responsibility of maintaining safety in the subway system, and we work closely with [it] to help ensure the security of our customers,” said MTA spokesman Charles Seaton.
Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill) disagrees.
“That’s a disservice to the riding public,” she said. “Without a station agent, a victim would have to leave the station to find a cop. There’s a whole campaign about, ‘If you see something say something,’ but who are we supposed to say something to now?”
Millman was central to the 2009 agreement that saved the booth on the condition that it would be removed. She remembered the arrangement only after being reminded of it by this reporter.
“I remember making that agreement, but they could have at least sent us a reminder.” Millman said. “It’s very unlikely for us to get it back now, they’ve already dismantled it.”