The rape of an art student at the G train 21st Street stop in Long Island City is upsetting New Yorkers. Not only did a token booth clerk stay in his booth when he saw the attack (he did call for more help), it turns out that a police command booth was empty, because police had complained about air quality issues in the station. The NY Post says that these are actually "anti-terror posts/omega booths" that are in the city's 32 subway stations near bodies of water; the other Queens omega booths are manned 24 hours a day by police while this one is not. And local politicians are calling for changes in NYC Transit procedures, to prevent another crime in progress. Transportation Committee chair City Councilman John Liu said, "There shouldn't be such a blanket rule," while NYC Transit says its token booth clerks should stay in booths because they are not trained as police officers. That well may be, but what about the token booth clerks that are now transplanted to work outside the booths? Wouldn't they help someone in danger? Aren't they vulnerable to attackers as well? Gothamist hopes the MTA will revisit some rules and procedures; and while we love that the subways run 24 hours, maybe it's time to revisit the best ways to ride.
Our readers' heated debate on the incident.