The public transportation system in New York, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is one of the biggest perks of living in the Big Apple. People can easily get almost anywhere in the city through the use of buses and subways. Not only is it affordable, but public transportation also reduces congestion on the streets, air pollution and traffic.
Unfortunately, while public transportation is overall a relatively safe and valuable part of life in New York, it does come with certain risks. Some people who want to hop on the subway or catch a bus may wind up suffering serious injuries as a result. During the winter season, your risks for injuries while traveling on New York public transportation increases.
Winter weather increases slippery roads, platforms, and hazardous sidewalk conditions
New York gets blasted with wet, cold weather every year, and though the city never sleeps, it definitely does have to put the brakes on a little when the roads get slippery. Large commercial vehicles like buses have a hard time stopping in icy weather.
Road conditions could lead to an increased risk for collisions or crashes involving buses. Collisions also create a risk for the people inside MTA vehicles, as they may experience injuries as a result of the crash. The dangers don’t stop there. You don’t have to be part of a traffic accident for winter weather to leave you at risk while riding on a subway or bus.
Snowy and icy roads, platforms and sidewalks increase your risk of slipping and falling while on MTA property. You could fall on your way to a subway platform or while trying to get into an MTA vehicle. The stairs on and off of buses, in particular, are a slip-and-fall risk during the winter months. The risk of someone falling while getting on or off the bus is high enough that it is even mentioned on the official MTA website.
You have rights if you get hurt on public transportation
Citizens have a right to trust in the institutions put in place by their government or operated by private firms on behalf of state or local government. Those who abide by all reasonable safety expectations while using public transportation should be able to trust in the maintenance of facilities and competence of employees to keep them safe.
When a failure to maintain safe facilities or properly maintain or operate vehicles results in an injury to passengers, pedestrians or others, the people who get hurt may be able to take civil action in certain circumstances. A wintertime fall from an MTA vehicle or a pedestrian accident involving a bus could mean substantial difficulty on your part, and you shouldn’t have to absorb all those costs by yourself.