Letter: Author playing both sides of the fence on MTA upgrades

D_Train_4, MTA, subway
The MTA’s 145th Street subway station stop.
Photo Adrian Childress

To the Editor,

Re: “Security and safety should be higher priorities than system expansion for MTA riders,” by Larry Penner.

The author just doesn’t get it. I take the subway from Parkchester to Brooklyn and back daily. I don’t think about security. I take the subway because it’s cheaper than driving and less wear and tear on the car and on me.

The author talks about security cameras on 6,400 train cars, 5,500 buses, and 473 stations. At a price of up to $1,200 per camera, where does the money come from? The printing press? The author’s retirement account?

The author discusses security takes precedence over system expansion. Yet, an opinion piece of the author making the rounds advocates opening the Gimbels Corridor/Hilton Passageway. Isn’t this system expansion system expansion — it closed in 1991 due to the robbery and brutal rape of a woman.

In an opinion piece in Mass Transit magazine, the author proposes expanding the Pelham Bay line into Co-op City. Forgetting the sheer cost and magnitude of this project, isn’t this expansion? So which is it? Reopen the old passageway (inviting more security concerns) and expand the 6 train or put security cameras on the system? Doesn’t the author read his other opinion pieces?

Two other points missed by the author. First, as horrific as the subway attack was it was an anomaly. How many rides are taken yearly without incident? Second, the doors between the subway cars of many BMT and IND lines are locked, and the windows open only a crack. In the event someone releases toxic/deadly gas on a train car, there is no escape. I care much more about that than security cameras.

Nat Weiner

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