Deaths on the Subway Tracks

The Regional Plan Association has made some suggestions for improving the New York city subway. Justin Davidson reports:

Much of what the RPA suggests is sensible: Install glass doors at the edge of subway platforms so 50 people a year can’t tumble onto the tracks and die.

The consensus seems to be that about 15 of these deaths are suicides. So that’s about 35 people who fall onto the tracks and die either accidentally or from being pushed. But I was curious: how does that compare, say, to London’s Underground, which is roughly the same size and also has no safety barriers? Apparently the answer for London is zero. However, they do seem to rack up about 25 successful suicides per year.

This seems very peculiar, no? If a few minutes of googling is to be believed, New York’s subway is responsible for 35 falls and 15 suicides per year, while London’s is responsible for zero falls but 25 suicides. Surely this can’t be right? Are the two cities really that different?


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