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GojiMet86

At 5th Avenue Station, Riders Find an Exit Trap

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This is obviously not a new problem. The station agent must have been approached numerous times by people paying a second fare. If he needed authorization to issue block tickets, he could have requested it unless he didn't think of it or was denied permission to hand them out. The real crime is that it took a New York Times article to bring this disgrace to light, because people actually were endanger of being trapped and stuck there all night and that could have been disastrous if someone suffered from medical problems and there would have been a gigantic lawsuit.

I didn't forget that incident where the cop couldn't get to someone a platform because he didn't have a Metrocard to enter the system...  <_<

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Oh please... Who are you kidding? The (MTA) has jipped customers for quite a while in circumstances where customers should've had refunds (i.e. last two major hurricane storms) and now suddenly they're going to break with the culture and issue a refund?  You know the deal and that's why I find it "interesting" that you come back with a little snide comment like that.  It is dry at the least and certainly exudes an air of callousness esp. coming from you with your previous snarly remarks on issues pertaining to customers and the (MTA) who you always find a way to side with and now you play dumb like you don't know... <_<

 

What snide comment? What does any of this have to do with anything I said?

 

I said that this exit should be open full-time, which would clearly solve the problem. How is that siding with the MTA?

 

Thisis nothing new. ack when part-time exits were far more common, I saw occasional articles about the same issue when the station agent responsible for closing off an exit failed to close off the end by the turnstiles. I once saw it with my own eyes: a group of people had gone through the turnstiles but couldn't get up to the street. Nearly all of those exits are now open full-time - this Madison Avenue issue is, fortunately, an anomaly.

 

This is obviously not a new problem. The station agent must have been approached numerous times by people paying a second fare. If he needed authorization to issue block tickets, he could have requested it unless he didn't think of it or was denied permission to hand them out.

 

The purpose of block tickets has never been to compensate riders for fares paid in error, so I doubt the request would be granted. But even if it is, a block ticket is still not a cash refund.

 

The real crime is that it took a New York Times article to bring this disgrace to light, because people actually were endanger of being trapped and stuck there all night and that could have been disastrous if someone suffered from medical problems and there would have been a gigantic lawsuit.

 

How would anyone be trapped there all night?

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Sounds like someone in this thread is bucking for Charlie Seaton's job. For those who don't know who Charlie is, he's the chief PR man(apologist) for NYCT who deals with the press on delays and whatnot. Those of us in the field used to laugh at some of the statements his office gave to the press and public because they were often inaccurate or flat out misleading. Don't get me wrong. The few times I actually met people from the PR office they were decent people and had no intention to mislead but that's the way it worked out. I used to tease one gentleman(now retired) that he had to legally change his name to escape the stigma that office gave him. I remember sitting in a ceremony where he gave me an award as a "Transit Ambassador" and pointed out that I would be a great addition to the PR staff but I'd never follow the company line. I used to speak to him 3 or 4 times a week and between him and my "rabbi" in RTO Operations and Planning I kept up with how my department (RTO) was doing. I still do. VG8, the man I speak of was no brownnoser and he really knew his stuff as far as RTO was concerned. The problem stems from those who feed this information to the PR people and those spokesmen who pass it on without looking at it critically or how factual said info is. I don't remember how many times I have personally been involved in an incident on the road and heard the (MTA) version of the "facts" after the incident was over.. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my time with the (MTA) and most of my fellow employees but I've run into a few "yes men" who will defend the agency 'til the end. The funny part is those are the people who usually get screwed over and leave with a bitter taste in their mouth. I think BrooklynBus knows what I mean.

BTW block tickets can only be issued by station agents upon authorization from their control department. They are considered as cash in the sense that any shortfall in the # of tickets on hand in a booth is the responsibility of the SA on duty and will come out of that agent's pay. Carry on.

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Sounds like someone in this thread is bucking for Charlie Seaton's job. For those who don't know who Charlie is, he's the chief PR man(apologist) for NYCT who deals with the press on delays and whatnot. Those of us in the field used to laugh at some of the statements his office gave to the press and public because they were often inaccurate or flat out misleading. Don't get me wrong. The few times I actually met people from the PR office they were decent people and had no intention to mislead but that's the way it worked out. I used to tease one gentleman(now retired) that he had to legally change his name to escape the stigma that office gave him. I remember sitting in a ceremony where he gave me an award as a "Transit Ambassador" and pointed out that I would be a great addition to the PR staff but I'd never follow the company line. I used to speak to him 3 or 4 times a week and between him and my "rabbi" in RTO Operations and Planning I kept up with how my department (RTO) was doing. I still do. VG8, the man I speak of was no brownnoser and he really knew his stuff as far as RTO was concerned. The problem stems from those who feed this information to the PR people and those spokesmen who pass it on without looking at it critically or how factual said info is. I don't remember how many times I have personally been involved in an incident on the road and heard the (MTA) version of the "facts" after the incident was over.. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my time with the (MTA) and most of my fellow employees but I've run into a few "yes men" who will defend the agency 'til the end. The funny part is those are the people who usually get screwed over and leave with a bitter taste in their mouth. I think BrooklynBus knows what I mean.

BTW block tickets can only be issued by station agents upon authorization from their control department. They are considered as cash in the sense that any shortfall in the # of tickets on hand in a booth is the responsibility of the SA on duty and will come out of that agent's pay. Carry on.

LMAO! Well I think you get exactly what I'm getting at so need for me to continue with AndrewJC...

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Sounds like someone in this thread is bucking for Charlie Seaton's job. For those who don't know who Charlie is, he's the chief PR man(apologist) for NYCT who deals with the press on delays and whatnot. Those of us in the field used to laugh at some of the statements his office gave to the press and public because they were often inaccurate or flat out misleading. Don't get me wrong. The few times I actually met people from the PR office they were decent people and had no intention to mislead but that's the way it worked out. I used to tease one gentleman(now retired) that he had to legally change his name to escape the stigma that office gave him. I remember sitting in a ceremony where he gave me an award as a "Transit Ambassador" and pointed out that I would be a great addition to the PR staff but I'd never follow the company line. I used to speak to him 3 or 4 times a week and between him and my "rabbi" in RTO Operations and Planning I kept up with how my department (RTO) was doing. I still do. VG8, the man I speak of was no brownnoser and he really knew his stuff as far as RTO was concerned. The problem stems from those who feed this information to the PR people and those spokesmen who pass it on without looking at it critically or how factual said info is. I don't remember how many times I have personally been involved in an incident on the road and heard the (MTA) version of the "facts" after the incident was over.. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my time with the (MTA) and most of my fellow employees but I've run into a few "yes men" who will defend the agency 'til the end. The funny part is those are the people who usually get screwed over and leave with a bitter taste in their mouth. I think BrooklynBus knows what I mean.

 

I love it! I guess it's a Pavlovian reaction to my name. Nowhere did I defend the situation described in the article. All I said was that the agent is not equipped to give a refund and that I thought the exit should be open full-time. (And I frankly think that Seaton's comment in the article is stupid.)

 

BTW block tickets can only be issued by station agents upon authorization from their control department. They are considered as cash in the sense that any shortfall in the # of tickets on hand in a booth is the responsibility of the SA on duty and will come out of that agent's pay. Carry on.

 

Exactly.

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I love it! I guess it's a Pavlovian reaction to my name. Nowhere did I defend the situation described in the article. All I said was that the agent is not equipped to give a refund and that I thought the exit should be open full-time. (And I frankly think that Seaton's comment in the article is stupid.)

Oh please.... Don't act dumb... You know exactly what you were doing... Stating the obvious like we're all so stupid... That little snide remark about passengers being able to "ask" for whatever they want is an insensitive remark IMO because they shouldn't have to "ask" for their own damn money back when they already paid for the ride and then have to pay again just to get out of the friggin' station... <_<  Then you go on to talk about how the situation is an "anomaly", which it is not the case... I don't call passengers getting ripped off by the (MTA) anything but the norm and this situation with passengers being trapped in stations sadly is not as "rare" as you try to make it...  It happens too often and passengers as a result often times have to pay for the (MTA)'s mistake, so they shouldn't be asking but rather getting their money back automatically if the (MTA) had any sort of morals or dignity, but I'm sure you think their actions are perfectly fine...  <_<

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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There are definitely other anomalies around. There's an exit at 42/8 directly into the Port Authority Bus Terminal which is locked late nights on the PA side, but nothing stopping you from exiting the turnstiles. I saw it happen to a group once and they used the emergency exit gate to re-enter and find another way out.

 

Changing the signs likely won't help much, at Cortlandt St on the R there are always passengers walking towards the closed exit at the south end despite all the signs indicating Mon-Fri 6am-9pm. But at least you won't get trapped at that one. Also, at Jay St-Metrotech on the R there is an Exit-Only escalator which transferees have lost their fare with since there is no way back into the station or to the IND platforms from there. The only ethics question is the emergency stop button on the escalator.
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What snide comment? What does any of this have to do with anything I said?

 

I said that this exit should be open full-time, which would clearly solve the problem. How is that siding with the MTA?

 

Thisis nothing new. ack when part-time exits were far more common, I saw occasional articles about the same issue when the station agent responsible for closing off an exit failed to close off the end by the turnstiles. I once saw it with my own eyes: a group of people had gone through the turnstiles but couldn't get up to the street. Nearly all of those exits are now open full-time - this Madison Avenue issue is, fortunately, an anomaly.

 

 

 

The purpose of block tickets has never been to compensate riders for fares paid in error, so I doubt the request would be granted. But even if it is, a block ticket is still not a cash refund.

 

 

 

How would anyone be trapped there all night?

Very easily. It is 9:45 PM the exit to the street was locked at 9:PM. The lower gate was not locked yet. Someone sees the gate is still open and walks up stairs and out the turnstile to find a locked exit. He pays another fare to get back in as required. Now he comes downstairs and finds that the lower gate is now locked and he can't get anywhere until someone frees him if someone happens to pass by or hear him scream if he is able. He is now an easy target for extortion because anyone can demand money in exchange for notifying the station clerk. He would be stuck there until morning unless someone in authority comes to his aid.

 

Do you really think the MTA employee goes upstairs each night to ensure no one is up there. I doubt it because no one paying him extra to do that. Most likely the only thing he will do is shout and ask if anyone is there, but some may not even do that much. Then there is also the risk that he person coud be deaf or have earbuds stuck in his ear and won't hear him. Just because it may never have happened, the possibility is still there.

 

You are siding with the MTA by saying you doubt that a request to issue a block ticket would be honored because their purpose is not to refund fares "paid in error" and that it is not a cash refund which it is not. It is a credit, the next best thing. First of all the fare was not paid in error. It was paid to get back into the system so as not to be trapped. (Okay you can argue that they should have heeded the sign so the MTA is not at fault.).

 

Second although that is not technically the purpose of a block ticket, it can still be justified as a block and if requested, permission should be granted. To insist that it is the person's responsibility to have an extra fare on him and pay one to get back in is just wrong.

 

There is no good reason why it should take an article in the New York Times for this potentially dangerous situation to be addressed by the MTA. They are wrong for not addressing it sooner. The person closing the gates most likely knew of the problem and did nothing, or if he notified his supervisor, it failed to go up through the chain of command because someone along the way just didn't care.

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Very easily. It is 9:45 PM the exit to the street was locked at 9:PM. The lower gate was not locked yet. Someone sees the gate is still open and walks up stairs and out the turnstile to find a locked exit. He pays another fare to get back in as required. Now he comes downstairs and finds that the lower gate is now locked and he can't get anywhere until someone frees him if someone happens to pass by or hear him scream if he is able. He is now an easy target for extortion because anyone can demand money in exchange for notifying the station clerk. He would be stuck there until morning unless someone in authority comes to his aid.

 

Do you really think the MTA employee goes upstairs each night to ensure no one is up there. I doubt it because no one paying him extra to do that. Most likely the only thing he will do is shout and ask if anyone is there, but some may not even do that much. Then there is also the risk that he person coud be deaf or have earbuds stuck in his ear and won't hear him. Just because it may never have happened, the possibility is still there.

 

You are siding with the MTA by saying you doubt that a request to issue a block ticket would be honored because their purpose is not to refund fares "paid in error" and that it is not a cash refund which it is not. It is a credit, the next best thing. First of all the fare was not paid in error. It was paid to get back into the system so as not to be trapped. (Okay you can argue that they should have heeded the sign so the MTA is not at fault.).

 

Second although that is not technically the purpose of a block ticket, it can still be justified as a block and if requested, permission should be granted. To insist that it is the person's responsibility to have an extra fare on him and pay one to get back in is just wrong.

 

There is no good reason why it should take an article in the New York Times for this potentially dangerous situation to be addressed by the MTA. They are wrong for not addressing it sooner. The person closing the gates most likely knew of the problem and did nothing, or if he notified his supervisor, it failed to go up through the chain of command because someone along the way just didn't care.

Your post is spot on... Like most large agencies or authorities, workers do the bare minimum because you're not supposed to do more than that because if you go further than that and something happens, you're the one that is said to be at fault.

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Your post is spot on... Like most large agencies or authorities, workers do the bare minimum because you're not supposed to do more than that because if you go further than that and something happens, you're the one that is said to be at fault.

Your response is also spot on.

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Also, at Jay St-Metrotech on the R there is an Exit-Only escalator which transferees have lost their fare with since there is no way back into the station or to the IND platforms from there. The only ethics question is the emergency stop button on the escalator.

 

You could always try running down the escalator and shouting for everybody going up to move out of the way. :P

 

For the station agent, if they aren't allowed to issue block tickets (which I agree 100% that they should be), can they give out those envelopes to request a refund, and write a note stating the date and time that they were stuck at the station? (So it'll take like 4 months, which sucks, but at least the money goes back directly to the MetroCard, or you get a new MetroCard that you can just combine with the old one)

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Also, at Jay St-Metrotech on the R there is an Exit-Only escalator which transferees have lost their fare with since there is no way back into the station or to the IND platforms from there. The only ethics question is the emergency stop button on the escalator.

That situation really is not like Fifth Avenue. If the sign at Jay Street says exit to street at the bottom of the escalator, and when someone gets to the top and realizes he wanted the free transfer, he already made his decision to exit and deserves having to pay another fare to get in. There are signs all over the system that warn you not to exit here for the free transfer.

 

At Fifth Avenue, you decided to exit possibly because you weren't aware of the time. You just assumed because the bottom exit was open, it wasn't 9 PM yet, and the top exit must be open also. Then you make the same assumption upstairs again since you are permitted to exit the turnstiles. Then you are trapped.

 

In the first situation, you are not trapped. You just can't get back into the system for the same fare. In the second situation, you have to get back into the system because you have nowhere else to go.

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Oh please.... Don't act dumb... You know exactly what you were doing... Stating the obvious like we're all so stupid... That little snide remark about passengers being able to "ask" for whatever they want is an insensitive remark IMO because they shouldn't have to "ask" for their own damn money back when they already paid for the ride and then have to pay again just to get out of the friggin' station...  <_<  

 

I didn't say that they shouldn't get a cash refund. I only said that the station agent can't give them a cash refund. Demanding a refund from the station agent is about as effective as demanding a refund from the turnstile or vending machine.

 

Then you go on to talk about how the situation is an "anomaly", which it is not the case...

 

The vast majority of subway exits are now open full-time. This wasn't always the case - many part-time exits were converted to full-time when their booths were closed.

 

I don't call passengers getting ripped off by the  (MTA) anything but the norm and this situation with passengers being trapped in stations sadly is not as "rare" as you try to make it...  It happens too often and passengers as a result often times have to pay for the (MTA)'s mistake, so they shouldn't be asking but rather getting their money back automatically if the  (MTA) had any sort of morals or dignity, but I'm sure you think their actions are perfectly fine...   <_<

 

Nice generic rant, but I'm afraid I have no idea what you're referring to. Care to be specific?

 

Very easily. It is 9:45 PM the exit to the street was locked at 9:PM. The lower gate was not locked yet. Someone sees the gate is still open and walks up stairs and out the turnstile to find a locked exit. He pays another fare to get back in as required. Now he comes downstairs and finds that the lower gate is now locked and he can't get anywhere until someone frees him if someone happens to pass by or hear him scream if he is able. He is now an easy target for extortion because anyone can demand money in exchange for notifying the station clerk. He would be stuck there until morning unless someone in authority comes to his aid.

 

One of the tasks in closing an exit is ensuring that nobody's inside. If the station agent responsible for closing this exit doesn't check that nobody's inside, he isn't doing his job.

 

Also, I haven't used this exit in a while, but most if not all unstaffed exits have emergency intercoms.

 

 

You are siding with the MTA by saying you doubt that a request to issue a block ticket would be honored because their purpose is not to refund fares "paid in error" and that it is not a cash refund which it is not. It is a credit, the next best thing. First of all the fare was not paid in error. It was paid to get back into the system so as not to be trapped. (Okay you can argue that they should have heeded the sign so the MTA is not at fault.).

 

The passenger made an error and, as a result, paid an extra fare.

 

Second although that is not technically the purpose of a block ticket, it can still be justified as a block and if requested, permission should be granted. To insist that it is the person's responsibility to have an extra fare on him and pay one to get back in is just wrong.

 

Yes, it can be justified. That doesn't mean that it can be authorized. Block tickets are only intended to be used for service blockages, and I'm sure periodic audits are made to discourage abuse (e.g., giving or selling a book of block tickets to a friend).

 

I'm not saying that the passenger shouldn't get a refund. I'm only saying that the station agent can't give him a refund and probably can't even give him a block ticket.

 

 

There is no good reason why it should take an article in the New York Times for this potentially dangerous situation to be addressed by the MTA. They are wrong for not addressing it sooner. The person closing the gates most likely knew of the problem and did nothing, or if he notified his supervisor, it failed to go up through the chain of command because someone along the way just didn't care.

 

It should have been addressed sooner - preferably by making this exit full-time - but there's no potential danger.

 

You could always try running down the escalator and shouting for everybody going up to move out of the way.  :P

 

I once saw somebody do that.

 

For the station agent, if they aren't allowed to issue block tickets (which I agree 100% that they should be), can they give out those envelopes to request a refund, and write a note stating the date and time that they were stuck at the station? (So it'll take like 4 months, which sucks, but at least the money goes back directly to the MetroCard, or you get a new MetroCard that you can just combine with the old one)

 
Sure, although you can get the form (but not the envelope, of course) on the web, and even a phone call might suffice. I've never tried it; I don't know if it would work.

 

That situation really is not like Fifth Avenue. If the sign at Jay Street says exit to street at the bottom of the escalator, and when someone gets to the top and realizes he wanted the free transfer, he already made his decision to exit and deserves having to pay another fare to get in. There are signs all over the system that warn you not to exit here for the free transfer.

 

At Fifth Avenue, you decided to exit possibly because you weren't aware of the time. You just assumed because the bottom exit was open, it wasn't 9 PM yet, and the top exit must be open also. Then you make the same assumption upstairs again since you are permitted to exit the turnstiles. Then you are trapped.

 

In the first situation, you are not trapped. You just can't get back into the system for the same fare. In the second situation, you have to get back into the system because you have nowhere else to go.

 

In the first situation, if your destination wasn't in downtown Brooklyn, you effectively have to pay to get back into the system to get where you were going. In the second situation, it's obvious to all that you didn't enter from the street, so there's nothing wrong with jumping the turnstile or asking somebody else to open the gate.

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1. I didn't say that they shouldn't get a cash refund. I only said that the station agent can't give them a cash refund. Demanding a refund from the station agent is about as effective as demanding a refund from the turnstile or vending machine.

 

2. One of the tasks in closing an exit is ensuring that nobody's inside. If the station agent responsible for closing this exit doesn't check that nobody's inside, he isn't doing his job.

 

3. Also, I haven't used this exit in a while, but most if not all unstaffed exits have emergency intercoms.

 

4. The passenger made an error and, as a result, paid an extra fare.

 

5. Yes, it can be justified. That doesn't mean that it can be authorized. Block tickets are only intended to be used for service blockages, and I'm sure periodic audits are made to discourage abuse (e.g., giving or selling a book of block tickets to a friend).

 

6. I'm not saying that the passenger shouldn't get a refund. I'm only saying that the station agent can't give him a refund and probably can't even give him a block ticket.

 

7. It should have been addressed sooner - preferably by making this exit full-time - but there's no potential danger.

 

8. In the first situation, if your destination wasn't in downtown Brooklyn, you effectively have to pay to get back into the system to get where you were going. In the second situation, it's obvious to all that you didn't enter from the street, so there's nothing wrong with jumping the turnstile or asking somebody else to open the gate.

 

(I've numbered some of your comments for reference so I can refer to them since the system would not let me to make deletions I wanted to make.)

 

2. I agree that the station agent wouldn't be doing his job if that were the case. All I stated is that knowing human nature, most likely he is not doing his job well by actually taking the escalator up and down each night before closing the gates below, and may only be shouting to ask if anyone was there which would be insufficient because of the chance he may not be heard.  That would indeed make it a dangerous situation. (Point 7)

 

3. You assume the emergency intercom is always working.  It may not be and another reason why it is potentially a dangerous situation.

 

4. I didn't realize that a requirement of being a subway passenger was to always carry a watch or phone to know the correct time.  If that were the case, then the passenger did make an error.

 

5. and 6.  You are contradicting yourself here. First you state the agent cannot issue a block ticket. Then you state it probably cannot be authorized. Well which one is it?  Can it be authorized or not? I stated that it should be authorized since the MTA did not condone reentering the system without paying another fare.

 

7. There is as I pointed out in Point 2 if the agent is not doing his job which you admit is a possibility.

 

8. Wow, you actually are disagreeing with the MTA who stated it is not justified to jump the turnstile in this instance.  It may be obvious to all, but that does not mean you cannot be issued a summons or arrested for doing it since the MTA stated you should pay another fare to get back in, although the charges would probably be dropped.

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(I've numbered some of your comments for reference so I can refer to them since the system would not let me to make deletions I wanted to make.)

 

2. I agree that the station agent wouldn't be doing his job if that were the case. All I stated is that knowing human nature, most likely he is not doing his job well by actually taking the escalator up and down each night before closing the gates below, and may only be shouting to ask if anyone was there which would be insufficient because of the chance he may not be heard.  That would indeed make it a dangerous situation. (Point 7)

 

So you're accusing the station agent of taking dangerous shortcuts?

 

Every time you ride a train or a bus, you are relying on employees not taking dangerous shortcuts. 

 

I am not willing to assume that employees take dangerous shortcuts. The incredibly low accident rate on the subway and bus systems indicates that employees generally do not take dangerous shortcuts. Yet you go so far as to assume that the station agent responsible for closing this exit would take a dangerous shortcut?!

 

3. You assume the emergency intercom is always working.  It may not be and another reason why it is potentially a dangerous situation.

 

No, you assume that it is not working. The intercoms are tested regularly, and at any given time, it is very likely that any given intercom is working.

 

Couple that with the incredibly high likelihood that the station agent does his job properly and doesn't lock anybody inside the mezzanine in the first place, and the issue becomes minuscule.

 

4. I didn't realize that a requirement of being a subway passenger was to always carry a watch or phone to know the correct time.  If that were the case, then the passenger did make an error.

 

There's no requirement, but in point of fact, nearly every subway passenger happens to carry some sort of timekeeping device. All of the trains that stop at this station have built-in clocks on the interior displays, and many stations (I don't know about this one in particular) have clocks above the platforms.

 

5. and 6.  You are contradicting yourself here. First you state the agent cannot issue a block ticket. Then you state it probably cannot be authorized. Well which one is it?  Can it be authorized or not? I stated that it should be authorized since the MTA did not condone reentering the system without paying another fare.

 

As far as the station agent is concerned, it needs to be authorized.

 

But the person authorizing the distribution of block tickets is probably only allowed to grant authorization under specific circumstances. A blockage in train service certainly qualifies; a customer who exited by mistake and had to pay a second fare to reenter probably does not.

 

7. There is as I pointed out in Point 2 if the agent is not doing his job which you admit is a possibility.

 

I am not greatly worried about the possibility that my bus operator will deliberately drive into a building and kill me. I am also not greatly worried that a station agent will neglect to check a mezzanine for stragglers before closing it.

 

8. Wow, you actually are disagreeing with the MTA who stated it is not justified to jump the turnstile in this instance.  It may be obvious to all, but that does not mean you cannot be issued a summons or arrested for doing it since the MTA stated you should pay another fare to get back in, although the charges would probably be dropped.

 

I've been disagreeing with the MTA from the start - in my very first post to this topic I said that the exit should be open full-time. It's about time you noticed.

 

The MTA doesn't issue summonses; that's up to the NYPD. Even Seaton didn't explicitly state that there was anything wrong with turnstile jumping in this situation - he merely refused to explicitly condone the act. I doubt the NYPD would issue a summons to someone who jumped a turnstile that had no outside access.

 

Whereas in the downtown Brooklyn case, the police officer has no way of knowing that you had just exited by mistake - as far as he knows, you were just entering from the street.

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So you're accusing the station agent of taking dangerous shortcuts?

 

Every time you ride a train or a bus, you are relying on employees not taking dangerous shortcuts.

 

I am not willing to assume that employees take dangerous shortcuts. The incredibly low accident rate on the subway and bus systems indicates that employees generally do not take dangerous shortcuts. Yet you go so far as to assume that the station agent responsible for closing this exit would take a dangerous shortcut?!

Wow you certainly make a lot of assumptions and comparisons. We are talking about station agents, not bus drivers or motormen or conductors. The primary function of the latter three is to ensure passenger safety, so of course they must be super cautious all the time. That is not the case with the station agent. Why aren't you comparing the station agent to the station cleaner? Would you say that every one of them takes his duties seriously and picks up every speck of litter he finds? You know that's not the case. Human nature, especially if no one is watching, is to do the minimum possible you can get away with. I wouldn't say station agents are as concientious as motormen, conductors and bus drivers. You've heard of station agents caught sleeping in their booths, haven't you? I haven't heard of a bus driver or motorman falling asleep on the job.

 

Anyway, I didn't say that the station agent had to be lazy and take a short cut, merely that the possibility exists, and that makes for a dangerous situation. You've also neglected the fact that there coud be turnover in the position and a new person may not have been told when the upstairs gates close since it is not his job to close them. . So he might not even be aware that a potential problem exists necessitating that he take the escalator upstairs each night to check.

 

 

 

No, you assume that it is not working. The intercoms are tested regularly, and at any given time, it is very likely that any given intercom is working.

 

Couple that with the incredibly high likelihood that the station agent does his job properly and doesn't lock anybody inside the mezzanine in the first place, and the issue becomes minuscule.

No. I am not assuming they are not working. Just that the possibility exists that there may be an occasional malfunction. The issue is not minuscule if it happens to you. Quit putting words in my mouth.

 

 

 

There's no requirement, but in point of fact, nearly every subway passenger happens to carry some sort of timekeeping device. All of the trains that stop at this station have built-in clocks on the interior displays, and many stations (I don't know about this one in particular) have clocks above the platforms.

Again, not all passengers know the exact time all the time and it is not a requirement for them to know in order to ride the trains, so if someone does not know the time or perhaps his watch is slow or had stopped is not a reason to hold the passenger at fault and say he made an error.

 

 

 

As far as the station agent is concerned, it needs to be authorized.

 

But the person authorizing the distribution of block tickets is probably only allowed to grant authorization under specific circumstances. A blockage in train service certainly qualifies; a customer who exited by mistake and had to pay a second fare to reenter probably does not.

 

If the supervisor has no discretion at all, what is the purpose in requiring the agent to first get permission? He just should be given the authority to make the decision himself. The fact is a supervisor always has some leeway and if he doesn't have the authority, he should be able to request permission from his supervisor. It may not be possible to get an answer that evening, but the problem should be resolved for future occurrences so that additional permission for the agent to issue block tickets for such an occurrence would not be necessary.

 

 

I am not greatly worried about the possibility that my bus operator will deliberately drive into a building and kill me. I am also not greatly worried that a station agent will neglect to check a mezzanine for stragglers before closing it.

You are not worried about the station agent but I am for the reasons I just explained.

 

 

I've been disagreeing with the MTA from the start - in my very first post to this topic I said that the exit should be open full-time. It's about time you noticed.

 

The MTA doesn't issue summonses; that's up to the NYPD. Even Seaton didn't explicitly state that there was anything wrong with turnstile jumping in this situation - he merely refused to explicitly condone the act. I doubt the NYPD would issue a summons to someone who jumped a turnstile that had no outside access.

 

Whereas in the downtown Brooklyn case, the police officer has no way of knowing that you had just exited by mistake - as far as he knows, you were just entering from the street.

But it may not be in the MTA's jurisdiction to ensure the exit is open full time since it is privately owned. By Seaton stating he can't condone turnstile jumping, thats the same thing as saying it shouldn't be done. So your only other alternative is to pay another fare. You really are splitting hairs. And in fact you have no idea what an NYPD officer would do in that situation. You are making the assumption that he would be fair and reasonable which may or not be the case. He may have a quota to fill and doesn't care how he does it. And please don't tell me there are no quotas.

Edited by BrooklynBus
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You know what I hate? When people argue based on words, not ideas. AndrewJC's "snide" response was to Snowblock's comment that the trapped passengers "demand a refund then and there" (no opinion one way or the other, Snowblock). I can picture a common commuter blowing his/her top about the awful experience to the agent, and he has a right to let his concerns be known. As a matter of fact, thats exacly what they should do. But "demand whatever they like", the agent can not and should not give them a refund then and there; NOT TO SAY THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE REFUND. The chain of supervision is not as close for a SA than your Home Depot, but like the Home Depot, the TA has a procedure for refunds which the employee must follow. The agent can help by checking the latest timestamp on the card and including a note with the formal request envelope. However, just like BB doesn't trust a station worker to always check every area, the TA doesn't trust the agents to issue refunds as the agent sees fit; too much power in too many hands. I don't know why AJC is getting such a harsh response from people who have shown to know better.

 

Back to the real issue: the TA scheduled their workers to lock a gate up to 45 minutes later than publicly posted, which is a safety hazard and has potential for litigation issues. No fare-paying commuter should ever have to be faced with this situation, and its sad that it got to the point of a NYT article. The TA needs to do a comprehensive sweep of all non-24-hour exits to make sure something like this cannot be repeated.

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You know what I hate? When people argue based on words, not ideas. AndrewJC's "snide" response was to Snowblock's comment that the trapped passengers "demand a refund then and there" (no opinion one way or the other, Snowblock). I can picture a common commuter blowing his/her top about the awful experience to the agent, and he has a right to let his concerns be known. As a matter of fact, thats exacly what they should do. But "demand whatever they like", the agent can not and should not give them a refund then and there; NOT TO SAY THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE REFUND. The chain of supervision is not as close for a SA than your Home Depot, but like the Home Depot, the TA has a procedure for refunds which the employee must follow. The agent can help by checking the latest timestamp on the card and including a note with the formal request envelope. However, just like BB doesn't trust a station worker to always check every area, the TA doesn't trust the agents to issue refunds as the agent sees fit; too much power in too many hands. I don't know why AJC is getting such a harsh response from people who have shown to know better.

 

Back to the real issue: the TA scheduled their workers to lock a gate up to 45 minutes later than publicly posted, which is a safety hazard and has potential for litigation issues. No fare-paying commuter should ever have to be faced with this situation, and its sad that it got to the point of a NYT article. The TA needs to do a comprehensive sweep of all non-24-hour exits to make sure something like this cannot be repeated.

 

 

I can't really argue with anything you've said.  You make perfect sense.

 

The only thing I disagree with you about is that we are giving AJC a hard time. He is the one making ridiculous statements such as subway riders are in error if they do not know the correct time and the one who is splitting hairs.  If anything. he is the one giving everyone else a hard time. Should his statements and assertions just go unchallenged? 

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You know what I hate? When people argue based on words, not ideas.

The bane of all arguments is a mass of ill-defined words.

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Wow you certainly make a lot of assumptions and comparisons. We are talking about station agents, not bus drivers or motormen or conductors. The primary function of the latter three is to ensure passenger safety, so of course they must be super cautious all the time. That is not the case with the station agent. Why aren't you comparing the station agent to the station cleaner? Would you say that every one of them takes his duties seriously and picks up every speck of litter he finds? You know that's not the case. Human nature, especially if no one is watching, is to do the minimum possible you can get away with. I wouldn't say station agents are as concientious as motormen, conductors and bus drivers. You've heard of station agents caught sleeping in their booths, haven't you? I haven't heard of a bus driver or motorman falling asleep on the job.

 

The primary function of bus and train operators is to operate the bus and train. One hopes that they do so safely, and virtually all the time they do.

 

I also hope that transit employees performing other functions also do their jobs safely.

 

If you told me that your working assumption was that I took dangerous shortcuts while doing my job, I'd respond with language not appropriate for use on this board.

 

 

Anyway, I didn't say that the station agent had to be lazy and take a short cut, merely that the possibility exists, and that makes for a dangerous situation. You've also neglected the fact that there coud be turnover in the position and a new person may not have been told when the upstairs gates close since it is not his job to close them. . So he might not even be aware that a potential problem exists necessitating that he take the escalator upstairs each night to check.

 

If the new station agent doesn't realize that somebody else has already locked a gate upstairs, then he has to go up there himself to lock the gate. (If nothing is locked upstairs, then people can get into the station from the street and pay a fare but can't get onto the platform - the exact reverse of the problem reported here.)

 

 

No. I am not assuming they are not working. Just that the possibility exists that there may be an occasional malfunction. The issue is not minuscule if it happens to you. Quit putting words in my mouth.

 

You're assuming that station agents are so lazy that they're willing to negligently lock people up overnight. I'm not making that assumption, so I deny that this situation is unsafe. I merely pointed out that, in the highly unlikely event that a station agent does lock people up overnight, they can use an intercom to call for help. It takes two highly unlikely events, in unison, for this to become a truly dangerous situation.

 

 

Again, not all passengers know the exact time all the time and it is not a requirement for them to know in order to ride the trains, so if someone does not know the time or perhaps his watch is slow or had stopped is not a reason to hold the passenger at fault and say he made an error.

 

I didn't say that there was any requirement of the sort. I only said that the passenger made a mistake by trying to exit through a closed exit. I'm not assigning blame.

 

 

 

 

If the supervisor has no discretion at all, what is the purpose in requiring the agent to first get permission? He just should be given the authority to make the decision himself. The fact is a supervisor always has some leeway and if he doesn't have the authority, he should be able to request permission from his supervisor. It may not be possible to get an answer that evening, but the problem should be resolved for future occurrences so that additional permission for the agent to issue block tickets for such an occurrence would not be necessary.

 

You've never encountered multiple layers of approval?

 

The station agent has no discretion at all - regardless of the situation, he cannot decide on his own to distribute block tickets. His supervisor can authorize the distribution of tickets, but only under limited circumstances.

 

Frankly, I don't even think a block ticket is the right answer, even if it were allowed. A block ticket is only valid for 48 hours, a block ticket can't be used with a subway-bus transfer, and a block ticket can't be used at an unattended subway entrance. I'd rather see it resolved through the MetroCard claims process - it should be easy enough for someone with access to the records to verify that a fare was deducted at a turnstile that was behind a locked gate and to issue a refund, either in cash or on a $2.50 MetroCard.

 

 

 

But it may not be in the MTA's jurisdiction to ensure the exit is open full time since it is privately owned. By Seaton stating he can't condone turnstile jumping, thats the same thing as saying it shouldn't be done. So your only other alternative is to pay another fare. You really are splitting hairs. And in fact you have no idea what an NYPD officer would do in that situation. You are making the assumption that he would be fair and reasonable which may or not be the case. He may have a quota to fill and doesn't care how he does it. And please don't tell me there are no quotas.

 

No spokesman for the MTA is ever going to explicitly advise anyone to jump a turnstile, regardless of the circumstances. That doesn't mean that he seriously expects anyone to pay an extra fare in a case like this. I expect that most people in this situation who do swipe have unlimiteds, so swiping doesn't cost them anything.

 

You know what I hate? When people argue based on words, not ideas. AndrewJC's "snide" response was to Snowblock's comment that the trapped passengers "demand a refund then and there" (no opinion one way or the other, Snowblock). I can picture a common commuter blowing his/her top about the awful experience to the agent, and he has a right to let his concerns be known. As a matter of fact, thats exacly what they should do. But "demand whatever they like", the agent can not and should not give them a refund then and there; NOT TO SAY THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE REFUND. The chain of supervision is not as close for a SA than your Home Depot, but like the Home Depot, the TA has a procedure for refunds which the employee must follow. The agent can help by checking the latest timestamp on the card and including a note with the formal request envelope. However, just like BB doesn't trust a station worker to always check every area, the TA doesn't trust the agents to issue refunds as the agent sees fit; too much power in too many hands. I don't know why AJC is getting such a harsh response from people who have shown to know better.

 

Thanks for sticking up for me. I know quite well why I'm getting a harsh response: some people just don't like me - BrooklynBus tops the list - so whatever I say, they feel an urge to say the opposite. I try to have fun with it.

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To Andrew: I am not keeping this up for ever with you. I will just say the following: it's not that I don't like you. I have had plenty of private discussions about you with a half dozen others, some of them MTA workers. We all feel the same way. you get too wrapped up in details and statistics, you fail to see the big picture or forget the original disagreement causing the argument. You also don't know what it is like to work for the MTA. You won't find that knowledge in statistics it comes with experience you do not have.

 

You seem to be the one who always has to say the opposite, not me. Whenever I make a post, you post some objection if you post anything at all. In all the conversations we've had, you have only posted once where you agreed with me. That was when I stated the MTA needs more funds. Otherwise you always play devil's advocate. So it's interesting to hear you say that I am the one to always post the opposite.

 

Glad to hear you do your job conscientiously, whatever that job may be.

 

If the exit above is controlled by a private corporation which I believe is the case, it would not be possible for te MTA employee to lock it.

 

You were assigning blame to the passenger who left through an open exit downstairs although the sign stated it should have closed at 9PM but was in fact still open. You blamed him for not paying attention to the sign and said if his actions caused him to have to ay an extra fare, it was not the MTA's fault. Then you said if it was you, you would have jumped the turnstile. Now you are trying to change what you originally stated saying you are not blaming the passenger when in fact you did.. That's why we get into arguments. Because you just won't admit when you made an error. You just keep dragging the conversation on and on and just don't quit.

 

I never said that a block ticket was the perfect solution, so why do you keep talking about it?

 

No, most people do not use unlimiteds. I think it's something lie 38% who do and that figure ay have dropped with the rise in cost of the unlimited pass.

 

I never said it was likely that someone would get trapped. Only that the possibility exists even if it is minuscule. Does that mean we should just ignore it? According to you, yes. Less than 1% of the people are victimized by identity theft. That is also a "minuscule" problem. But those people's lives are turned upside down. Should we ignore that also? Now you are going to respond by saying you never said we should ignore the possibility of someone getting trapped when you originally stated that it was not even possible for anyone to get trapped in the first place.

 

I'm not going to keep going round in circles with you. This conversation is over.

Edited by BrooklynBus

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