senate Bill S1058

Prohibits the operation of N.Y. city transit authority subways or trains without a conductor on board

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Summary

Prohibits the operation of NYC transit authority subways or trains without at least one conductor on board; requires a conductor on any subway or train operated by such authority whenever the subway or train has more than two cars attached to the engine.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4065
Versions:
S1058
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง1205-b, Pub Auth L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S7509A, A3559A
2007-2008: A4073, A4073

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1058

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring the New
York city transit authority to have at least one conductor on board

PURPOSE:

To require at least one
conductor on board any passenger subway train with two or
more cars operated by the New York City Transit Authority, in order to
maintain an acceptable standard of safety for passengers and reduce
potential increased liability that could arise.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

To add a new section (1205-b) to the Public Authorities Law, to prohibit
the operation of a subway passenger train without a conductor. A
"conductor" shall be defined as the person other than the train
operator/engineer who assist in the operation of the train and is
primarily charged with opening and closing the doors and all other
aspects of the operation of the train. The new provisions require a
conductor on all subway trains which carry passengers and have two or
more cars attached.

JUSTIFICATION:

The subway system is the heart and soul of transportation for New York
City, where millions of commuters, residents and tourists alike, depend
on the NYCTA for their daily transportation to and from work, and their
daily activities.

Presently, the subway system, 648 miles of tracks running through four
boroughs, includes 469 stations, many with curved platforms where each
day, millions of passengers board and exit from trains, some as long as
10 cars, every day.

Each passenger train, as per rule 97(r) NYCTA rules and regulations
currently requires a conductor on board. The conductor is part of a two
person team which operates the train. The other person is the engineer
or motorman who drives the train from station to station. The conductor
opens and closes the doors, oversees the safe entering and detraining of
passengers, and the safe departure of trains from the station. TA rule
requires conductors to observe the doors of their trains until the
trains have reached the end of the station platform or have traveled at
least three car lengths. In stations with curved platforms the observing
eyes of the conductor is even more important.

The NYCTA is in the process of implementing One Person Train Operation
(OPTO), ostensibly to save money, but there are substantial evidence
that OPTO could instead end up as a "penny wise pound foolish"
experiment that will only eliminate jobs and compromise the safety of
those who must ride the trains.


In reviewing the NYCTA's proposal, the TA's own System Safety
officials expressed serious concerns about several hazards that could
not be satisfactorily resolved to meet acceptable safety standards.
They include:

(a) Absence of the conductor to observe the door could result in
passenger drag, space case or between car injury or fatality.

(b) Absence of a conductor would result in an unattended train. As in
the case of a brake activation where the motorman is required to leave
the train and inspect the tracks. That would mean no crew members on
board which could cause a sense of panic to passengers.

(c) The motorman could become distracted in the operation of the train
while making announcements resulting in serious accidents or fatality.

In fact, the TA's own System Safety Assessment analysis recommended
that, "the most effective method for controlling all identified
hazards to an acceptable level is to continue to provide a conductor
on each train and not to introduce OPTO." In addition, the TA's System
Safety Assessment analysis also highlighted that greater, and of
course more costly service delays could result if the motorman is
incapacitated and with no other employee present on board to report
the problem and take command of the train.

Further, the State's Public Transportation Safety Board (PTSB), in its
own review of OPTO has concluded that, "....the conductor plays an
important part in the train's operation, and that OPTO as proposed, is
unacceptable from a passenger safety and security standpoint." The
PTSB goes on to conclude that, "in effect, the lack of, or absence of
a conductor on all passenger trains create the possibility of having a
single point failure (the motorman) which could result in a
catastrophe. Conductors provide essential train operation supervision
and are essential during emergency situations. Additionally train and
passenger security has always been a function of the conductor and
their presence is also viewed as a deterrent to crime." Indeed, the
fact is that the TA promotes the presence of the conductor as an
integral part of its safety program and encourages passengers to ride
in the cars where the conductors are located, especially during
off-peak and night hours.

NYCTA claims that implementation of OPTO would save money, but legal
action against the state resulting from injuries and fatalities caused
by the absence of the conductor could negate any savings and become
more costly.

A reduction of service which has an adverse effect on public safety,
endangering the lives of passengers while also resulting in further
loss of jobs to NYC is irresponsible and should not be allowed.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-2010: S.7509A/A.3559A
2007-2008: A.4073
2006-2007: A.3805
2005-2006: A.3805
2003-2004: A.5135


2001-2002: A.3661
1999-2000: A.1019
1997-1998: A.2440
1995-1996: A.5713

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to New York State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1058

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring the
  New York city transit authority to have  at  least  one  conductor  on
  board

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  The legislature finds and declares that, the New York city
transit authority, through its operation of the  New  York  city  subway
system,  the  largest  public  transit system in the world, provides the
primary means of commuting for many millions of New York  residents  and
visitors every day of the week. With an estimated average of over 10,000
passengers  loaded  onto  each  train during rush hours, the presence of
trained New York city transit authority personnel, other than the  engi-
neer, on each train is necessary and should always be required to ensure
improved safety for passengers during emergencies, which may occur while
in subway tunnels or traveling over bridges.
  The  legislature  further finds and declares that the tragic events of
September 11, 2001, which launched the war of  terror  against  America,
has  tremendously heightened the need to significantly increase security
and safety for commuters on New  York  city  subway  trains.  Also,  the
recent  conviction  of Zarein Ahmedzay, who was caught buying explosives
and admitted to having planned an attack on the  New  York  city  subway
system  makes it imperative that we recognize the role of conductors and
other authority personnel assigned on passenger trains as first  respon-
ders,  and  the  front  line defense to potentially save lives and limit
casualties in the event of a terrorist attack.
  S 2. The public authorities law is amended by  adding  a  new  section
1205-b to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02183-01-1

S. 1058                             2

  S  1205-B.  CONDUCTOR  REQUIRED.  ANY  SUBWAY OR TRAIN OPERATED BY THE
AUTHORITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS SHALL HAVE AT LEAST
ONE CONDUCTOR ON BOARD. FOR THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE  TERM
"CONDUCTOR"  SHALL  MEAN  THE  PERSON OTHER THAN THE DRIVER, ENGINEER OR
MOTORMAN  PRIMARILY  CHARGED  WITH  ALL  ASPECTS OF THE OPERATION OF THE
RAILROAD LOCOMOTIVE, SUBWAY OR TRAIN, WHO SHALL ASSIST IN THE  OPERATION
OF THE TRAIN AND BE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPENING AND CLOSING OF
THE  DOORS  AND OTHER SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE TRAIN.  A CONDUCTOR SHALL BE
REQUIRED ON ANY SUBWAY OR TRAIN OPERATED BY THE AUTHORITY  WHENEVER  THE
SUBWAY OR TRAIN HAS MORE THAN TWO CARS ATTACHED TO THE ENGINE THEREOF.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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