Back in 2005, the MTA imposed new rules and fines for a variety of subway offenses, such as a $50 fine for putting your foot on a seat or platform bench. Or a $100 fine for wearing skates. One of the rules included was a $75 fine for walking or riding between subway cars because the MTA wanted to make sure riders weren't exposed to dangers of riding/walking between cars, emergencies or smelly people or crowded cars be damned.
And it seems that the rule has been lucrative: 3,600 summonses were issued for riding/walking between subway cars last year. In 2005, 700 summonses were issued, while 900 were issued in 2004. Some of the people were carrying weapons and ten had been previously involved with subway crimes before.
The Daily News says that 51 of 88 people given summons for walking/riding between cars in Brooklyn this year had outstanding warrants. The MTA is not surprised with the findings, and spokesman Paul Fleuranges reiterated the MTA's "point" for the rule: "You get on the subway to get to where you are going, not to be accosted. Riders don't like someone shoving CDs in their face that may or may not be bootlegged, or batteries ... or candy that may be spoiled. It's about the quality of the ride. A lot of riders don't want to be bothered like that." Yet they still are - subway riders don't generally like to pass through between cars, but then they want to, it's for a good reason. This rule is still pretty stupid.
In 2005, the MTA experimented making only the first five cars open and locking up all other in order to prevent robberies. And last fall, a man was killed when he tried to board a train by climbing over the gates-between-cars.
Photograph by |Shrued on Flickr