A few months after the New York City subway system began phasing out MetroCards with OMNY, the One Metro New York contactless fare payment system, each station will remove agents from their booths.
Starting Thursday, more than 2,000 station agents will be stepping out of their subway booths and roaming free outside their kiosks to assist commuters with various customer service needs, Gothamist reported.
According to New York City Transit President Richard Davey, the agents will be more hands-on inside subway stations as they “help customers find their route, assist subway riders with disabilities, and report on maintenance issues such as broken elevators.”
“All 2,200 of our station agents will be permanently out of the booths to provide customer service to all our subway stations across the system,” Davey said at a press conference at the Fulton Street station, per Gothamist.
The publication reported Davey also shared that the metal and glass booths would remain inside the subway terminals but would only be used when workers could take breaks or whenever they see fit.
New York City’s decision to remove subway agents from their booths resulted from more commuters utilizing the MetroCard, which will soon be replaced with OMNY, a payment system linked to a person’s smartphone or credit card.
“We want to make this a safe environment,” Davey said. “Obviously having police in the stations as well is important, but as I’ve said, our station cleaners are out every day in the station environment, working, largely, very safely.”