NEW YORK - The number of train collisions with people in New York City has seen a concerning increase in the past four years, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The MTA reports a 25% rise in such incidents since 2018, with last year's count reaching 234, leading to the tragic loss of 88 lives. Moreover, nearly 1,000 arrests were made in 2022 for subway surfers.
According to the MTA, most of the cases of people being struck by trains involve mentally ill individuals or people who voluntarily enter the tracks.
The trend has been worsening since subway surfing videos appeared on social media platforms, resulting in several challenges.
The MTA says it is working with social media platforms to remove those videos and to use their algorithms to block those videos from ever going up to begin with. The state agency also says it is allocating police resources to focus on problem areas.
"If they’re that person who hits a stanchion or falls off and gets killed, they won’t be TikToking or YouTubing. They just won’t be around anymore. Don’t do it, it’s dangerous and foolish," said John Chiarello, director of safety at the Transport Workers Union Local 100, speaking to anyone who might take the risk of subway surfing for social media content.