So now that all these station agents have been cut, who are folks turning to when they need help navigating the subway system? The NY Times says "unsuspecting Samaritans like Mr. Hossain, a snack vendor in the Times Square station," have been lending a helping hand. He told the paper, “It’s all day long. When I get a chance, I tell them go this way, go that way. But sometimes, I’m serving a customer so I don’t say anything.”
While the agent booths may have been slightly less necessary once tokens were tossed to the wayside, straphangers still miss the guidance and safety they would sometimes provide. However, transit officials insist "at least one entrance at every station retains a 24-hour staffed booth, and customers at an unattended entrance can use intercoms to reach the agent on duty. Security cameras monitor many subway platforms and entrances, and crime has fallen significantly."
The paper spotted one lone straphanger at the 110th Street station Monday night at 10 p.m., however; the 20-year-old woman told them: “It’s really irresponsible; it doesn’t make sense to me. A young woman in New York shouldn’t have to be somewhere late at night where there’s no one around." Yes, even sleeping station agents are preferred to no station agents.