The convoluted ways of the subway never to amaze: A mother was fined for using the service entrance for her daughter in a stroller because she didn't wait for the station agent to buzz her in. WABC 7's "Seven on Your Side" gets all advocate-for-the-viewers on the case and laid out the details: The mother, Michelle, put her Metrocard in the card slot at a 34th Street service entrance - which she's done many times before. The door opened. But then a station agent told her, "Excuse me, did anyone give you permission to go through that door?" - and then ticketed Michelle and her mother $60 each for not getting permission! The MTA claims that riders are supposed to know that they should wait in line if they want to use the service entrance (which is only for the handicapped), but Seven on Your Side didn't see any signs indicating this, even after the MTA said they'd put them up! And the MTA still expects Michelle and her mother to pay.
On the MTA's website, we found this Q&A:
Why do I have to stand in line with my stroller before the agent lets me use the Service Entry gate?
Customers who need to use Service Entry gates, including those with children in strollers, must wait in line with our other customers at the station booth to inform the station agent of their need to use the gate. The station agent will buzz the gate open after the customer has paid a fare at a turnstile and rotated the turnstile arm in view of the agent. We have found that customers who proceed directly to the Service Entry gate distract the station agents from conducting fare transactions at the booth. This policy also ensures that station agents will witness the payment of fares by Service Entry customers.
Still, if there are no signs actually at the service doors, it doesn't seem very clear. Maybe the MTA needs to start handing out pamphlets of rules for parents at hospitals! It is interesting though, since most people will try to get the station agent's attention when using the service entry, maybe some of the stroller clan think they own the subway.
Gothamist on the new subway rules.