Poll: Straphangers feel safer with station agents
Better safe than sorry.
Nearly two-thirds of riders polled said they felt safer with the red vested station agents roving the subways, according to an on-line survey of 630 passengers released Wednesday.
People dont want to be in a system without human beings. Its scary, said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign, which conducted the survey.
The MTA is eliminating its 420 station agents through attrition to save $16 million by 2010. Agency officials said they must plug a $200 million hole remaining after state lawmakers allocated $2.3 billion in new funding.
Since 2005, station agents have provided directions and helped passengers navigate the subways. They also contact police and emergency responders in case of crime, medical problems or lost passengers.Last year, station agents summoned emergency command 171,370 times, nearly triple the number of incidences in 2000, according to data obtained by amNewYork.
Were there for their safety, said Andreeva Pinder, a union representative for stations.
Transit officials, however, argue that the change will have no adverse effect to station security or customer safety.
At least one full-time token clerk will remain in all 468 stations at all hours, they said.