MTA to install hands-on subway assistance system

THE BRONX - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is launching a pilot program to better guide customers using the subway system. The agency is installing "help point" communication devices at more than 100 station platforms across the city. MTA officials say the technology will give riders immediate access to station booths and the rail control center in case of emergency. Many riders say they welcome the addition while others say lower fares should be the priority. "We need to bring it back to the tokens," one customer said. "Bring it back to when it was $1.25." Bronx stations expected to get the system include Burnside Avenue, 161st Street-Grand Concourse and 149th Street-3rd Avenue. The MTA plans to gradually install the "help points" at 102 stations citywide until 2014, then eventually at all stations. Officials say the project costs about $100 million.

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