I'm curious to see what others think.
Skinny girls to blame for late trains?
By Chuck Bennett
amNewYork Staff Writer
January 1, 2007, 6:27 PM EST
Subway late? Blame the lady wearing a size 0.
These women -- many fainting during the morning rush hour due to crash diets -- have been a leading cause of subway delays in the past year, according to MTA personnel.
"Sick customer," MTA-speak for a subway delay caused by an ill passenger, was the No. 3 cause of disruptions between October 2005 and October 2006, an analysis of agency statistics shows.
"You have women trying to get their bodies tight for the summer and they won¹t eat," said Asim Nelson, a Transit emergency medical technician based in Grand Central Station. "Not eating for three or four days, you are going to go down. If you don¹t eat for 12 hours you are going to get weak."
Talisa McGraw, 17, sheepishly admitted to skipping breakfast and dinner the night before she fainted on a downtown No. 4 train on her way to Manhattan Village Academy at about 8 a.m. last month.
"I felt dizzy and light and dropped down. Luckily someone got me a seat and called the conductor," she said. At Grand Central, Nelson brought her to his small office, monitored her vital signs and waited for an ambulance to take her to a hospital for a check-up.
In all, Nelson treated five women that morning, all of who fainted or reported feeling weak.
An average of 395 delays per month are caused by sick customers. Only track work and signal troubles triggered more delays.
While flu-symptoms, anxiety attacks, hangovers and heat exhaustion also strike passengers, Nelson said, they pale in comparison to fainting caused by missed meals.
The MTA, however, doesn¹t keep an official list of the nature of every sick-customer disruption.
Nelson is part of the MTA¹s "Sick Customer Response Program," which consists of EMTs and registered nurses based at transit hubs," he said.
When a rider becomes ill a conductor must stay with the person until paramedics or other appropriate emergency responders arrive. This can tie up train service, especially at stations that only have two tracks.
Bottom line: The MTA strongly urges all riders to eat something - anything - in the morning to keep the subway rolling.