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Subway surfers take unsafe sex to the next level

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This article was originally published on Feb. 14 4:22pm EDT by THE CITY

Here’s a death-defying twist on the no-pants subway ride.

Cheeky social media images that outraged MTA officials show three subway surfers on top of the No. 7 line — including one daredevil who bared his backside as the train was above the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens.

The post to X (formerly Twitter) by an account that bills itself as “Transit Workers against corruption” purports to show two snapshots of X-rated action of men who “appear to be having sex” last Friday at 1:20 p.m. and asks “What is the MTA doing about this?”

“That’s bad — where’s the respect for the children and the women?” said Ventura Plalapuachai, 43, who was catching a train Wednesday at Mets-Willets Point. “And it’s dangerous, too.”

The MTA could not confirm when the pants-dropping stunt atop the No. 7 train occurred or whether it impacted subway service. But a spokesperson for the transit agency ripped into those who ride in off-limits parts of the transit system.

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“The only thing dumber than riding on top of a subway train is dropping pants in the process,” said Tim Minton, the transit agency’s communications director, told THE CITY. “Those reckless clowns aren’t thinking about the mess cleaners and other subway workers will have to deal with when their stupid stunt goes tragically wrong.”

The transit agency and City Hall last year launched the “Ride Inside, Stay Alive” campaign against subway surfing after reports of people riding outside of trains jumped from 490 in 2019 to 928 just three years later — an increase of nearly 90%.

MTA numbers show there were 683 reports of people riding on top of or in between trains from January through September of 2023, the latest time frame for which those figures are available. The subway surfing craze peaked in May 2022, records reveal, with 162 reported incidents. 

An MTA spokesperson said that six people died while riding recklessly outside of trains in 2023,  one more than the total number of such fatalities from 2018 to 2022.

The first subway surfing death of 2024 came last month, when a 14-year-old boy was killed after falling onto the tracks from the top of an F train near the Avenue N stop in Brooklyn.

Outdoor portions of the transit system — particularly along the No. 7, J, M and Z lines — have long been draws for subway surfers. The NYPD has increased patrols and deployed drones at those trouble hotspots.

According to the MTA, once train crews become aware of unsafe riding, a train is stopped at the nearest station, with workers instructed to contact supervisors for additional guidance.

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Riding outside of trains skyrocketed during the pandemic even as ridership plummeted, with MTA and city officials pinned the surge on social media. In turn, the agency convinced social media companies to yank thousands of subway surfing videos and photos offline.

More than two dozen lawmakers last month charged that subway surfing content is still easily accessible on social media platforms.

At elevated stops along the No. 7 line, riders said they occasionally see teenagers riding outside of trains.

“They’re gambling with their lives,” said Pedro Flores, 43 after exiting a No. 7 train at the 103rd St.-Corona Plaza stop. “Even with the police officers at this station, you still see them on the express track.

“It makes no sense — people lose their lives just going to work and not looking for trouble, then you’ve got these people riding on top of trains.”

THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.

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Source: NBC New York

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