Point Here If ...
October 30, 2013 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Well, good on them. Everyone needs a smile now and then, and they helped with that in a harmless inoffensive matter.
posted by Samizdata at 4:31 PM on October 30, 2013

This is pretty great but I want to know more about why they have to point at the striped signs.
posted by Gronk at 4:56 PM on October 30, 2013

The story as I heard it was a conductor wasn't paying attention and closed the doors on someone leading to the train dragging and injuring them. No idea how accurate it is.
posted by Skorgu at 4:58 PM on October 30, 2013

I think that black and white board indicates where the conductor should stop the train at each station. It's not so much that they are point to show they are "paying attention" but that they are confirming that the train is where it's supposed to be.
posted by arcolz at 5:04 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is about opening the doors, if the driver pulls up short or slightly overshoots the platform, then the doors at one and or the other could be unsafe to open.
The conductor is in the middle of the train and controls the doors opening, the zebra signs are in the middle of each station. Presumably all the pointing is caught on CCTV giving a recorded position, date and time of each stop.
posted by Lanark at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2013

perhaps i am humorless, but it woulda been a lot more fun if the signs weren't either weirdly prurient or --- i dunno - talking a selfie while driving? - that is a bad joke. cellphone use during operating a train is something for which a driver would be fired (and actually led to a deadly event out here in CA, though that was texting). so it's inappropriate and vaguely incriminating towards the drivers. it's a bit like when someone wears an offensive halloween costume. the "dead sexy" was the only one that made me smile, because it was a compliment, if one played along. which the drivers had no choice but to do.

but i guess i am bean-plating it. overall, it was a fun idea, and a cool bit of trivia to learn about.

and ah ha... (editing) i see they are conductors, not operating the train. that makes it a better joke. thanks, Lanark for the clarification.
posted by lapolla at 5:15 PM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]

Lapolla, the conductor and the "driver" (train operator) are two different, non interchangeable assignments in NYC. Train operators are only at the front of the train, and aren't required to point at anything, although they do have to take note of a playing card sized placard they are supposed to stop adjacent to. So, since conductors never drive the train, that "taking a selfie while driving" sign could only be referring to behavior in their personal automobiles. Presumably they wouldn't be fired for doing that.
posted by xigxag at 5:31 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dang, you just beat me to it, exogenous! Great video!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:38 PM on October 30, 2013

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:42 PM on October 30, 2013

They also point to confirm they are opening the doors on the correct/platform side of the train. Open the doors on the wrong side and people could fall out over the third rail.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:43 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Some more curved stations, where they can't see all the doors up and down the train have video monitors near the zebra stick too so they can see all the doors to make sure they are clear.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:43 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm now having an interesting conversation of FB with a couple of MTA guys about this.
Confirmed that it is used to make sure the doors are opened on the correct side of the train and actually in the station.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:46 PM on October 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

Loved this - all we get in Boston are a bunch of idiot passengers who have to be told AT EVERY STOP to watch out for the doors closing and to make room for others. EVERY SINGLE STOP.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:42 PM on October 30, 2013

That's not just Boston.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:56 AM on October 31, 2013

posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:18 AM on October 31, 2013

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