Subway death renews calls for TTC to install platforms barriers

It’s a subway rider’s worst nightmare.

Police say a man was killed in a “completely unprovoked attack” Monday morning at Bloor-Yonge station when he was pushed in front of a moving train.

On Tuesday, police identified the victim as 73-year-old Yosuke Hayahara. John Reszetnik, 57, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Such incidents are extremely rare on the TTC, and the agency says the last time someone died by being pushed on the tracks was more than 20 years ago.

But the alleged murder, which occurred two days after a suicide at another station, has revived calls for the TTC to install barriers on subway platforms in order to protect riders.

“Absolutely, I think we should be looking at it,” said Joe Mihevc, a TTC board member and councillor for Ward 21 St. Paul’s.

In 2010, the TTC board approved in principle the installation so-called platform edge doors on Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina), but the project has never been funded.

Mihevc and other proponents of the barriers argue they would not only eliminate suicides on the subway, but also prevent lengthy service delays caused by trespassers entering tunnels or debris falling on the track.

The barriers could also make service more efficient by allowing trains to enter crowded stations at full speed, instead of slowing down for safety reasons.

Even at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, achieving all of those goals with a single project “is actually pretty cheap,” Mihevc argued.

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