8 safety tips for traveling in the subway and railroad

Here are a few safety tips to follow when riding the subway and trains.

News 12 Staff

Sep 20, 2023, 8:30 AM

Updated 155 days ago


When riding in the subway or railroad be aware of your surroundings, the MTA says
Below are a few safety tips to follow when riding the subway and trains:

1. How to report something unsafe

Call 911 if it’s an emergency. You can also use a station Help Point intercom, or find an employee or police officer for help. 

2. In case of an emergency

Familiarize yourself with safety signage in cars so you will know how to locate and operate emergency exits. Your best protection is to remain calm, think clearly, and follow the instructions of the train crew.

3. If you must evacuate a train

Stop: Don’t try to leave the train without instructions or help from the train crew. The safest place for you is on the train.
Look: If there is an emergency, look for a member of the train crew and report it immediately.
Listen: Follow the instructions of our train crews as well as the instructions of emergency personnel on the scene.

4. People in need of help

If someone has fallen onto the train tracks, call 911. If a train is approaching, turn on your phone's flashlight and wave your hands from side to side. 
For all other emergencies, call 911.

5. Tips to protect yourself in the subway

During non-rush hours, wait for trains in designated areas.
Avoid empty subway cars.
During off-hours on the subway, ride in the conductor car. That’s in the middle of the train.
Use subway entrances and exits where there’s the most activity. That’s usually the entrance with the 24-hour booth (though not all stations have these).

6. On platforms and trains

Stand back from the platform edge. Don’t lean over the platform edge or go onto the tracks for any reason. If you drop something, tell a police officer or station personnel. Wait for the train to stop before stepping forward. Don’t run on platforms. Watch the gap when you’re boarding and exiting trains.

7. At railroad crossings

Always obey the lowered gates, flashing lights, and ringing bells at railroad crossings. Trains can approach quickly from either direction. Never walk or run across crossing gates. Trespassing on tracks is illegal and extremely dangerous. Never use train tracks as a shortcut. Cross tracks only at designated crossing areas.

8. Sexual harassment

Under the NYC Human Rights Law, any unwanted sexual behavior is unlawful, including but not limited to touching, crude jokes, and lewd comments. If you feel you’ve been harassed, you have options for reporting the behavior.
How to report sexual harassment - If it’s an emergency that requires immediate response, call 911.
Or call the local police. If it’s in New York City - call the NYPD Transit Special Victims Squad at 718-834-5319.

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