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MT-Hey! Station booths will be cut big

The Brooklyn Paper
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Buried deep in the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s proposed budget cuts are suggestions to close part-time and several full-time service booths — a move that could save the $10.8-billion agency millions, but could also compromise safety of its passengers by depriving riders of another set of eyes and ears late at night.

“I don’t like [the idea] at all — I get very uncomfortable if no one’s at the post late at night,” said Park Slope resident Jerry Robinson, who was waiting at the Union Street M- and R-train station, whose full-time southbound booth would be closed entirely. “There’s not enough cops on the subway already, so for the MTA to take away the people in the booths in unacceptab­le.”

The cash-strapped transit agency has said it has a $1.4-billion budget gap and has proposed eliminating 205 booths — 33 of which are in Brooklyn — from 144 stations citywide.

“[These proposed cuts are] part of the service reductions in the [MTA] budget,” said agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz, noting that the measures will be enacted in the spring barring a fiscal or political miracle.

“These are measures that we hope not to implement,” he added.

The proposal also calls for shutting the full-time booth at the High Street A- and C-train station, near Red Cross Place, in Downtown; and the Montague Street entrance to the Court Street M and R station.

There are also several part-time booths that will be cut entirely, including booths at:

• the Metrotech end of the A, C and F station at Jay Street in Downtown;

• the west side of Flatbush Avenue entrance to the Bergen Street 2, 3 station;

• the southbound F and G station entrance at Bergen Street;

• the northbound entrance to the Carroll Street F- and G-train station, along the northbound platform at President Street;

• the entrance to the Borough Hall 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains at Court and Joralemon streets.

Ortiz estimated that the staffing cuts would save the agency $9.1 million.

At least one full-time attendant will still be in each station — though sometimes in stations with no northbound-southbound transfer.

“It would make me feel unsafe,” said Alex Pappas. “I can’t afford to not ride the trains — but I might invest in a can of Mace.”

Others, of course, cheered the MTA for closing the so-called “token booths.”

“Ever since they phased out tokens, these workers do nothing at all,” said one disgruntled rider who requested anonymity. “They can’t sell you a Metrocard and they’re bitter. They’re the worst public face for the MTA. They should just be fired.”

The MTA will hold a public hearing on all its proposed cuts on Jan. 28 at 6 pm at the Brooklyn Marriott (333 Adams St., between Willoughby and Tillary streets in Downtown). Call (212) 878-7483 to pre-register to speak. Shoe-throwers are not welcome.

Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rippy from Bronx says:
Nevermind safety. If I'm getting killed on the platform, I don't expect these lazy civil servants to save me. I'm more worried about getting robbed by turnstiles that don't work properly. If there's nobody in the booth, how do I get my refund?

You ever deal with these thieving "egg-beater" turnstiles? I once wasted four fares trying to get through one of those pieces of junk. Of course, even back then, there was nobody in the booth to complain to and get my money back.

Hell of way to run a railroad!
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:09 pm
Rik from Brooklyn Heights says:
Please. Does ANYONE out there actually rely on these booths for their safety? There's never anyone around anyway after about 7pm and the Court St/Joralemon entrance is unusable half the time anyway. It's not good that jobs are going to go but, speaking as a traveller, who cares?
Jan. 11, 2009, 5:37 am
alpankin from downtown says:
cutting station booths is nuts..grasping at straws..if the mta really wanted to save money why don't they get their employees to work a forty hour work week like everyone else who has a job. they could also stop sending four people to do the job of one worker. have you ever seen three workers standing around watching one person doing the work. enough already.
Jan. 11, 2009, 8:26 am
Ruben Safir from Midwood says:

The MTA has bit off more than we can afford and doesn’t need my bridges.
It needs to scale back its plans and restrict its programs to projects
that NYC can afford.

Since it doesn’t come under anyones jurisdiction, it won’t do that.
Instead to uses the agency for pork barrel politics around the region
and picks on the weakest hand in its grip, the outer boroughs of NYC, to
exploit for its own unneeded agenda.

It doesn’t need a 15.2 billion dollar east side access program for the
LIRR. Scratch that off the list, and the Fulton Street program and the
pork west side extension that was traded for a westside stadium project,
and the MTA has a surplus.

So they are lying to us. Plane and simple.
March 17, 2009, 3:15 pm

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