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200 NYC station agents laid off

Washington isn't the only city experiencing subway woes. A budget crisis in New York City has led its transit agency to lay off hundreds of station agents at the only U.S. subway system larger than DC's--layoffs that were originally blocked by a judge last month.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to fire 202 token booth agents in August at a board meeting on Wednesday. A judge had told the MTA to hold a new round of public hearings before closing booths and firing the agents. The agency held those hearings this month.

Two board members expressed concern with the booth closing, citing intercom flaws on some subway platforms. NYC Transit President Tom Pendergast said the agency is looking to fix those problems.

The MTA says it has saved $11 million in station agent layoffs this year in an effort to close an $800 million budget shortage. It had earlier laid off 260 agents.

In Washington, some Metro riders complain that station staffers are inattentive, unhelpful or not busy. But when the failure of Dupont's escalators earlier this month caused crowds and chaos, the lack of a station manager at one exit (he had left to attend to problems at the opposite exit) caused concern and confusion among an undirected mass of would-be escalator climbers, who saw no staff member in sight to take control of the situation.

--Associated Press and Luke Rosiak

By Luke Rosiak  | July 28, 2010; 12:02 PM ET
Categories:  Commuter Rail  
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Can we do that in DC with the useless station "managers."

Posted by: yell53 | July 28, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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