NEW YORK (OCN) — Are you thinking about committing suicide in New York’s subway system? Well, before you proceed, make sure you have your permit from the MTA.
Starting Monday, March 15, 2010, all males and females are required to apply for a permit to commit suicide by train in New York’s subway system. The cost of the permit is US$100.00 for males and US$125.00 for females (and also includes their unborn baby) and goes towards footing the bill of MTA’s loss revenue when the subway trains and/or stations have to be locked out to paying passengers while the power is shut off to the rails so that local police can conduct a 12-9 investigation for a passenger under train.
With lawsuits from injured jumpers who survived over the years, the MTA hopes the hefty application fee (plus 30 day extenstion fee of US$5.00) will be a burden to potential jumpers and will aid in reducing the number of suicide attempts in their network.
According to a female spokesperson who wishes to remain anonymous, failure to apply for a permit (which is valid for 180 days) with the MTA and later can be proved through local police investigation that the incident was in fact a suicide attempt and not an accident or crime due to a third party, will give the he MTA the green light to go after asset to recover for potential losses. Losses include the non-service of the train, stations and up to US25.00 per hour salary for the cleaning staff.
A benefit for the MTA and the city with the permit requirement is that a counsellor can be detached to aid the person(s) considering suicide and with the information collected helps in identifying the remains of the jumpers who did not leave notes for their family.
So far, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has stepped in and filed an injunction saying that “applying for the permit would be an invasion of privacy” even though it could help prevent a possible victim through the dispatching of a counsellor. This is the same organization that wanted a stop on random subway searches which was being implemented to help protect New York City after 9/11 terror attacks.
A few experts believe that with the new requirement, people who are considering suicide will take to other locations such as the George Washington Bridge, the Empire State Building or other trains services such as the LIRR which we are told has a poster campaign saying “Suicide is not the route” and 877-582-5586 (877-5-TALK-TO-US) suicide hotline, PATH, Amtrak & NJ Transit. Only time will tell in the upcoming months.