Home Asides Report: Albany neglected station-agent funding request

Report: Albany neglected station-agent funding request

by Benjamin Kabak

Tomorrow morning, 478 station agents will not show up for work. In a move that will save $21 million and is part of the MTA’s overall efforts at cutting costs, these station agents are being let go, but it seems the union tried to save them. According to Heather Haddon of amNew York, labor leaders asked Albany for an eleventh hour bailout today, but state officials have so far failed to act. With Albany deadlocked over a budget, I wouldn’t expect any money to come the MTA’s way to avoid firings of service cuts.

Meanwhile, the Haddon article supposedly highlights how, anecdotally at least, crime is on the rise underground, but the accompanying photo is an absurd one of an elderly station agent. I don’t think any potential criminal would be deterred by his presence, and both the MTA and NYPD say that crime is holding steady underground as compared with the overall crime rate in the city. The biggest issue may be fare jumping, but the MTA has not committed to replacing turnstiles with the HEETs at those entrances losing their station agents.

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David Robertson May 6, 2010 - 11:07 am

If the 2 branches of the government are ineffective (executive = governor & legislative) then the judicial branch acted wisely by temporarily stopping the layoff.

Benjamin Kabak May 6, 2010 - 11:10 am

I think you left this comment on the wrong post.

Paulp May 6, 2010 - 2:41 pm

“elderly station agent. I don’t think any potential criminal would be deterred by his presence”

I hate to tell you he’s not a cop but he does have a phone to contact appropriate authoriies, and that is a deterent.

Benjamin Kabak May 6, 2010 - 2:43 pm

No one who is intent on committing a crime will be deterred by some guy with access to a phone who probably won’t be in a position to see the crime happen. That’s really grasping at straws.

Paulp May 26, 2010 - 1:06 pm

It is really easy, if you are a crimminal do you strike when someone can see you or when no one is there? Crimminals do weigh their options before doing crime to think otherwise is naive. Crimes like robbery are not a compulsion but a calculated risk. If you lessen the risk, crime will happen.

Benjamin Kabak May 26, 2010 - 1:12 pm

You say “when someone can see you” as though the station agents can, you know, see the platforms. They can’t. They’re often two city blocks away from the ends of the platforms and have views obstructed by the fare control gates.


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