MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 14, 2007
MTA New York City Transit Observes Elevator and Escalator Safety Week

National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is observed each year during the second full week of November. The event is aimed at drawing attention to the safe, responsible use of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. MTA New York City Transit representatives are at designated, high-traffic stations all this week, alerting customers to the safety issues associated with the use of the system's 158 elevators, 169 escalators and two moving walkways.

NYC Transit representatives have been handing out escalator safety material, including coloring books, stickers, and MetroCard holders during the morning rush-hour period. Yesterday (Tuesday), the hand-outs were distributed at Lexington Avenue/53rd Street E and V; today (Wednesday), at Grand Central 4, 5, 6 and 7; Thursday at Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue E, F, G, R and V; and Friday at Parsons/Archer E, J and Z. Exhibits also include showing the Elevator & Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) mascot "Safety Cat!!!" video to 2nd graders in all NYC public schools tomorrow.

"Events like National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week are instrumental in reminding our customers about the safe use of escalators and elevators," said MTA New York City President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. "Unfortunately, something as mundane as using an escalator can be taken for granted and lead to accidents. We want to help make our customers aware of the safest way possible of using escalators, elevators and moving walkways."

Of course, there are several rules riders should follow in order to remain safe when using escalators and elevators. On escalators, parents and guardians should hold the hands of small children when riding and make certain shoelaces are tied. Of course, this is good advice for adults also. Additionally, carts, large packages and baby strollers should not be rolled onto escalators. Not only can these items cause a danger to other users, but they also prevent the passenger from holding the handrail.

Staying safe when using elevators means stepping aside to let passengers off before boarding; it also means watching your step and holding young children's hands firmly when boarding and alighting elevators. Do not attempt to stop elevator doors from closing by extending your hand or any other object.

Currently, all escalators and moving walkways are being surveyed to make certain that all posted caution signs are clean and legible. Customers are also reminded to be careful when riding escalators through the use of annunciators. The messages were created for the diverse communities throughout the city and they have the capability to deliver the safety messages in English, Spanish and/or Mandarin.

Annunciators are currently installed at Main Street-Flushing 7, West 4th Street A, C, E, B, D, F and V, and 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue F, among other stations. By the end of this year the annunciator systems will be in operation at Pelham Parkway 2 and 5, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue N, R, W, 4, 5 and 6, Court Street – Boro Hall M, R, 2, 3,4 and 5, and High Street A and C.