You’ve already noticed the empty token booths. More are coming, if the MTA gets its way.

Some 200 people, many of them transit workers, turned out for a public hearing last night, begging the MTA to halt its plan to eliminate 215 station agents, on top of the 543 they’ve already done away with.

Station agents can prevent subway crime, say New Yorkers like Brooklyn resident Pippa Brashear.


“Coming home late at night, especially at stations on the Lower East Side, sometimes I’m the only person on the platform,” said Brashear, 30. “The first thing I do is walk closer to the main entrance to see if there’s an agent there.”

Some say station agents’ presence does little to help riders. But Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign say their extra eyes are needed. “People shouldn’t go into a subway entrance without a human being there,” he said.

The MTA’s board will vote on the booth closings later this month.

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