Monday, March 05, 2007

A very taboo subject

It's generally acknowledged in the transit community that "passenger injuries at track level" (PITL) are a very taboo subject. For this reason, I will tread lightly.

Whenver a PITL occurs, everyone knows what's going on. However, the TTC generally does not report these incidents, often citing the fear of copycats. This is one of the rare cases where an argument to the nobility of that idea can be made, but does it accomplish the objectives? Would releasing this data encourage more copycats, or would it bring the issue to the forefront, where we can develop solutions to this issue?

When it come to infrastructure, we can implement platform screens to prevent PITLs, but this would require automatic train control to ensure that the train doors lined up with the platform screens every time. The London Underground uses such a system, while you can find it locally in Toronto on the Pearson airport people-mover. The Westminster station on the Tube's Jubilee Line is pictured here.
I personally believe that releasing the numbers of PITL would result in panic among riders - sometimes blissful ignorance is a good thing. But I will advocate for a public debate on this issue. It cannot be swept under the rug any longer. For more reading, check out Metroblogging Vancouver.



At 3/05/2007 5:01 p.m. , Blogger Adeel Ahmad said...

Ignoring the issue and informing passengers that someone tried to kill themselves are, as you say, two different things.

If nothing else, I don't really think I want to know when someone does it.


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