2005-07-15 / Community

‘Keep Your Eyes Open’ MTA Riders Told

By Alyssa Goldstein

In the almost four years that have passed since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 memories may have faded and security policies may have changed, but the fear implanted in us by the government, has remained, especially in the wake of attacks on transportation systems in Madrid and London.

Now, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) has renewed the warnings that often elevate those fears, according to some experts.

Trains and busses throughout the city all carry the same warning: if you see something suspicious, such as an untended bag, an unusual act, you are to notify an official as soon as possible.

But the problem facing most New Yorkers is what qualifies as ‘suspicious’? Some long-time riders say that many of the people and the things they do on the subway on a daily basis seem to many to be “suspicious.”

According to MTA spokesperson Tom Kelly, “you instinctively know when something is amiss.”

Kelly points to such actions as a person “puts a bag down and walks away,” or “somebody who stands on a platform doesn’t get on a train.”

The agency’s press release outlined some of the things that New Yorkers should watch out for: Unattended packages, liquid containers and electronics. Any person taking photographs of train tracks, buses, or bridges. Someone who is meddling with surveillance cameras. Someone who seems uptight or disturbed.

In the wake of the London attacks it, Kelly says, it is good to remember to stay calm, but most importantly to remain cautious. Anyone who does happen to see something suspicious is urged to call 311, 911 or to alert the nearest official.

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