How much does the MTA really care about passenger safety? Just take a look at the nearest CCTV monitor to find out. Why your RTO union reps should ultimately be held responsible.


CCTV monitor at Sheepshead Bay on the B train is barely visible and contributes to an unsafe work environment for both, conductors and passengers.

Safety is a major part of train operation which relies solely on the train crew. Management states “safe train operation should be done from terminal to terminal”. With the extremely poor condition of most of the cctv’s in the New York Transit System, safety is often compromised.
Stations that are curved, have blind spots and or the ones that may experience heavy ridership, cctv’s are very important.  In most cases, they serve as the only line of sight for conductors. When the CCTV’S are not operating at their optimal potential, it presents a definite safety hazard. In order to provide the best and safest possible service, these screens need to have the best clarity and positioning.

When you are being considered to be hired by Transit especially in a safety sensitive position, you are throughly examined to make sure you are first fit for the job. Your heart, ears and eyes are checked and must pass a certain criteria in order to get hired or you will be placed on a medical hold. With the cctv’s acting as a primary/secondary line of vision for crews, depending on the station type, the screens should be held to the same criteria as the employees when they are first screened.


  • Light glare from the sun and station lights which can make screens difficult to view.
  • Poor quality screens and cameras.
  • Screens that are not fit for every car class. For example… North bound on the “C” train at 125th street 2 track, the cctv’s line up perfectly for the train car class 32, but not for the train car class 68 used on the “Bravo”.
  • Conductor indication boards blocking screens.
  • Screens that flicker and go in and out.
  • Split screens.
  • Camera’s out of position due to the being moved or tampered with.


CCTV’s are capable of preventing drags, people getting hit with doors, train surfing and many other dangers that conductors may encounter on any given day in the subway system.  When these type of incidents happen and a passenger gets injured, the first person who is held responsible is the train crew, no exceptions asked.



The MTA and TWU local 100 RTO union representatives should be working hand in hand in order to provide the best possible service and safety to customers. Union reps should be working diligently to encourage management to improve the cctv’s and camera’s to high definition throughout the system. With the addition of wifi stations, trains and buses, safety is being greatly overlooked with no improvements in place to fix the decrepit  and unsafe conditions of the cctv monitors.

Lets be serious, do you think MTA management or your TWU local 100 union rep is watching tv in their living rooms of this quality? I think not!

The question ultimately is, when will this current local 100 leadership in RTO stand up for the members for which whom they work for?




– Tramell Thompson

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