Last week, the MTA announced that all 277 underground stations in the city’s subway system will be wired for cellphone use over the next six years. But in addition to increasing the number of minutes you can spend and places you can loiter to annoy the hell out of your fellow New Yorkers, this new service could save your life! Yes, yes, iPhone withdrawal can be pretty nasty; but we’re talking about the kind of risks old-school city dwellers so frequently faced: robbery, rape and murder. See, having cellphone service underground means that authorities will be able to pinpoint a 911 caller’s exact location in the station. Forget the fact that, as the Daily News points out, “subway crime has plummeted so low that it’s arguably safer underground than on the sidewalk.”
If you thought the city subway system couldn’t get any safer, you’re wrong. MTA officials announced yesterday that New York City Transit workers will receive additional security and emergency response training this week, and workers on the commuter railroads and bus lines are in for the same treat down the road. Approximately 28,000 staff members will receive the half-day training sessions, which include learning how to identify and report suspicious activities and deal with crises.
Of course, all this increased safety means Mayor Bloomberg’s whole “citizens must swap civil liberties for a chance at survival” spiel is a little over the top.
Photo courtesy of Kriston Lewis on Flickr