The MBTA is considering installing barriers on T platforms as part of other infrastructure upgrades the agency wants to undertake by 2040.
Interestingly, while the barriers are generally used for safety reasons—to prevent riders from falling or jumping onto tracks—the MBTA sees them more as a way to bring some order to the chaos all too common on the T.
Whatever the reason, the barriers with sliding doors would be a first for a U.S. mass transit system. Systems in Europe and East Asia use the barriers as do many airport conveyances stateside. But the only other U.S. mass transit system that has come close is New York, which earlier this year postponed a plan to test the barriers at a subway station.
If the MBTA is ever going to install such barriers, now would be the time, the agency tells the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. That is because new Red Line cars are expected to roll out next year, providing that workhorse of a line the same dimensions for every car—all the better to align with the barriers’ dimensions.
Still, any barriers are a ways off. Other 2040 goals for the MBTA include a pedestrian tunnel between the Downtown Crossing and State Street T stops and an extension of the Silver Line into Everett. Stay tuned.
- MBTA wants to put up barriers, doors on subway platforms [Globe]
- Boston subway lines, ranked [Curbed Boston]
- MTA may test out AirTrain-like platform safety doors on the L line [Curbed NY]