Home Transit News Passenger Rail M.T.A. Tries a New Tack During Delays: The Truth

M.T.A. Tries a New Tack During Delays: The Truth

By MAGGIE ASTOR

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Subway conductors, stationed in middle cars, have long been on the front line with customers when trains are delayed. But now, operators, who drive the trains, will be responsible for giving riders updates, preferably specific. Photo: PETER FOLEY / REUTERS

On my way home from work two Thursdays ago, the No. 3 train I was riding stopped suddenly, just before the 72nd Street station.

This, on the New York City subway, was not particularly unusual. But what happened afterward was.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” began the voice over the loudspeaker, sounding rattled. “I have bad news. A passenger just jumped in front of the train.”

Several people gasped. A woman near me jerked her head up from her phone, wearing an expression of horror. We riders did something not normally acceptable: We made eye contact with one another.

A train conductor or operator speaking of a death on the tracks without euphemism: We had never heard that before.

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