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Unman your stations Subway agents to get pulled

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In less than two weeks, 86 stations around the city will lose 282 "customer assistants" -- the red-vested agents who formerly staffed token booths but now dole out information and also serve as the subway's late-night eyes and ears.

 

Stops from Grand Central station to Jamaica will see fewer agents as part of a massive long-term MTA plan to shave $52 million from its budget each year.

 

 

Robert Miller

YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN: There will be fewer agents like this one assisting subway riders in stations.

 

Manhattan is the hardest-hit borough, losing agents at 63 booths, many in stations heavily used by out-of-towners.

 

They include six at the 42nd Street stations at Grand Central, Sixth Avenue, Times Square and Eighth Avenue.

 

"It's going to be war," Mary Davis, 20, a cashier from The Bronx, said at the Union Square station yesterday. "There's going to be no order down here."

 

One agent at Union Square said, "Closing these booths is not customer service. It's not going to be a good idea."

 

Stations in Queens will lose agents at 10 booths, Brooklyn 17 and The Bronx nine.

 

Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues in Brooklyn, Queens Plaza and Yankee Stadium will be among the stations affected.

 

The customer assistants removed from their posts will either be transferred to other jobs or will retire.

 

After several years, 772 additional agents will be cut.

 

"Each station will retain at least one full-time, staffed booth, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges.

 

"The reduced staffing of stations is necessary to help balance the operating budget."

 

He added that "riders using wheelchairs, strollers or carrying large or bulky items should use the full-time station entrances," and that people can contact an on-duty agent by using intercoms in the system.

 

But MTA watchdogs believe the stations will be more susceptible to crime and fare evasion once the number of agents is cut.

 

"They're going to make the subways scarier and less convenient and it's no way to treat their customers," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign.

 

"With the money you save, you have to balance it against discouraging people from using the system, fare evasion and potential lawsuits."

 

One rider said the agents' presence serves as a crime deterrent.

 

"You could be walking down to the train and get robbed, raped, anything, and there's no one to help you," said Queens resident Lazette Smith, 25.

 

"Sometimes those pay phones don't even work."

 

tom.namako@nypost.com

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Meh? I thought this wasn't going to happen?

 

- A

 

I thought that too. I guess Obama's bailout did not help enough.

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I think alot of this will be going on...........

 

But MTA watchdogs believe the stations will be more susceptible to crime and fare evasion once the number of agents is cut.

 

"They're going to make the subways scarier and less convenient and it's no way to treat their customers," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign.

 

"With the money you save, you have to balance it against discouraging people from using the system, fare evasion and potential lawsuits."

 

One rider said the agents' presence serves as a crime deterrent.

 

"You could be walking down to the train and get robbed, raped, anything, and there's no one to help you," said Queens resident Lazette Smith, 25.

 

 

 

I would buy mace.......and a big can of it!!!! if I had to ride the train late at night.

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I have one word to describe unmanned subway stations.

 

Stupid.

 

- A

 

I have one word for you:

 

Agreed!

 

While I agree with both of you, AWWang, there is a little "Thanks" button that you could have used...

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I have one word to describe unmanned subway stations.

 

Stupid.

 

- A

 

I have one word for you:

 

Agreed!

I agree also. This is risking passenger and tourist's safety.

This will also be big problem for stroller or cyclist.

 

Right now, on Junction Blvd elevator overpass still has problem. Some station agent aren't nice and it takes them long time to open.

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I mean i'm not trying to be anti-change, in the future you may be able to take out some people overnight to save money, have intercoms and cameras not unlike HBLR, but as it is right now, it would as i stated above, stupid.

 

- A

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Number of manned stations down

 

Crime levels up

Customer confusion levels up

Fare evasion levels up

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I mean i'm not trying to be anti-change, in the future you may be able to take out some people overnight to save money, have intercoms and cameras not unlike HBLR, but as it is right now, it would as i stated above, stupid.

 

- A

 

Having a person in a station is alot more comforting then having a camera. Even though an S/A can't get out of the booth to help you, I know that that seeing someone else there who could call the police would make me feel a little safer. Plus you have to think that if there are using servalence cameras, how many are in the station, then how many stations are being watched, and if someone is watching them he or she could be watching 20 or 30 TV screens so what is the chance that they will see you getting the crap kicked out of you. Also, where will people get information from. You can't trust most people to look at a map and figure it out for themselfs and this is during the day, what about during the night when the have big service changes. On any level no matter what you do, this is a bad idea.

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I am a station agent so I'll give you guys my opinion. The ta is not ready yet to have undermanned stations. I love how they say "we have cameras and intercoms(cai) systems. First off many stations don't have cameras yet and the ones that do are not monitored. They are only there in case something happens. If you hit the Customer assistance talkbacks for help, first it takes a while for someone to answer. So in the mean time you can get your head bashed.

But the techonolgy is out there to get rid of metrocards(i.e.ez pass). I think many of my co-workers have to be realistic about the situation. The TA does not want to handle the money any more. Very costly for them. The union and TA need to figure out new roles that fit into the future. Station agents are still needed to carry out other functions(block tkts,disruptions,g.o's, information, also eyes and ears) Let me know what you think..

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