Streams

Stranded A Train Passengers Sue MTA

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A year after being trapped on an A train for over eight hours in a blizzard, a group of passengers is suing the New York MTA.

Twenty-two stranded straphangers are named as plaintiffs in the suit, which was to be filed on Tuesday in Queens County Supreme Court. They were left without heat, food or water when the train got stuck in several feet of snow in Queens, near JFK Airport the day after Christmas in 2010.

Earlier this month, Thomas Prendergast, the president of New York City Transit, discussed the agency's preparations for the upcoming winter at a New York City Council hearing. "We forgot about that train," he said. "That’s inexcusable.”

The MTA wouldn't comment directly on the lawsuit. It issued a statement that read: "In the aftermath of last year’s blizzard, we have implemented a series of changes to improve our performance in future storms, including the creation of protocols to suspend service in harsh conditions and assigning a rider advocate to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers."

But attorney Ayman Aboushi, whose firm has taken on the case pro bono, said that falls short of what needs to happen.

"People are going to get stuck on a train at some point, and it's going to be longer than a few hours," he said. "It happens every year at least a few times. What are you going to do when that happens? Okay, you can shut it down, but what happens when you get blindsided?"

He added, "Agreeing to shut down the system when inclement weather is on the horizon is not a policy."

In August, the MTA took the unprecedented step of shutting down the city's transit system in preparation for Tropical Storm Irene.

Aboushi said the lawsuit aims to force the MTA to put better policies in place. A dollar amount for compensation, if any, would be up to the court.

 

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [2]

clive betters

what a stupid corrupt inefficient transit system.

Dec. 28 2011 03:15 AM
Jess from Rockaway

Alas, fare hikes will cover the settlement. Sad, can the rest of us sue them for depraved indifference to get on the subway with a storm on the way or happening and then suing the public? Cut the MTA bureaucrats at the top will help us all. It is still amazing that we can get anywhere in the city!

Dec. 27 2011 07:10 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by