MTA Mulls Installing Sliding Doors on Subway Platforms

MTA president Tom Prendergast said Monday that the authority is considering installing doors on platforms in the wake of a number of subway deaths — including a fatality on the L train tracks in Brooklyn this weekend.

The platform would be sectioned off by sliding glass doors that would open when a train was in the station, similar to platforms in the AirTrain system and some European subway lines, the MTA chief said during committee meetings in Midtown.

"We can do it," Prendergast said, citing subway lines in the London and Paris system that are 100 years old but have been retrofitted with platform doors.

He said potential safety gains would have the biggest impact at crowded stations like Grand Central Terminal. It could also improve the subway's operating efficiency.

"The entire functioning of the Lexington Avenue line depends on smooth boarding at Grand Central Terminal," he said. "Cutting down or eliminating platform accidents would help us greatly."

Prendergast said there are no concrete plans for the platform doors but that the authority is looking into the issue.

The MTA chief did not say how much the upgrade would cost or how it would be funded, only that he assumes it would be "costly."

Subway trains hit 147 riders in 2011, up from 128 the year before.