MTA Safety Tips


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is the largest public transit authority in the country, serving not only New York City but also 12 counties in the State of New York. Whether it is buses, trains, or subways, accidents on MTA vehicles are common and the agency tries to encourage people to conduct themselves safely to help reduce the chances of certain accidents.

MTA safety recommendations are essentially broken into the three largest groups of transit vehicles offered by the agency:

Train Safety

The MTA encourages all people to remember that train tracks mean there will be trains traveling, and trains are not capable of coming to complete stops very quickly. Everybody needs to be alert for oncoming trains at any platform or crossing.

The MTA recommends that people stay away from the edges of platforms and not lean over platform edges. Do not go on to the tracks for any reason. The MTA also stresses the importance of being aware of gaps on train platforms, and encourages people to hold the hands of children while entering and exiting trains to avoid trips over gaps.

As it relates to grade crossings, the MTA reminds people that lowered gates, flashing lights, and ringing bells mean a train is coming. Even when a train is stopped at a station, another train could be coming on a second track, so you should never try to walk or run around crossing gates. The MTA also reminds people that trespassing is illegal.

Subway Safety

Platform safety is also a major concern with subways, as the MTA states that there were 181 incidents involving customers who came in contact with trains and 44 people were killed in 2017 alone. You are encouraged to stand at the center of a platform and look for signs indicating whether a train will stop during off-hours.

If you happen to drop anything from a subway platform, never attempt to retrieve the item yourself. Notify a police officer or use a Customer Assistance or Help Point intercom instead. The MTA also says that riding on top of a train (surfing) or riding while holding onto outside doors (skylarking) is against the law, and boarding between subway cars can also be dangerous because subway doors are not like elevator doors and do not automatically reopen. The emergency cord on subways should only be used to prevent accidents or injuries, but keep in mind that pulling the emergency cord stops the train.

The MTA also states that subway exits are the areas with the most sexual harassment activity, and you should know your location before you call 911. You can report sexual harassment to an MTA employee or police officer. The MTA also notes that people who need to report sexual attacks should call the Police Department’s Sex Crime Report Hotline at (212) 267-RAPE (7273), and all calls are kept confidential.

Bus Safety

Always keep your head and arms inside any MTA bus you are traveling on. It is recommended that you signal your intended stop to a driver two blocks before the stop, so they have adequate time to come to a smooth stop. People should also avoid distractions such as talking or texting on cell phones while boarding or walking near buses.

Contact a New York MTA Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt in an accident on a subway, bus, or train, be sure to speak with an experienced MTA injury lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. The New York trial attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C., can be reached at (855) TOP-FIRM or through our website, and we’ll put our extensive experience and resources to work for you.

  • About the Author
  • Latest Posts
new york and long island personal injury law firm - Finz & Finz P.C.

Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.