MTA: Fainting Dieters Delay NYC Subways

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 2, 2007; 11:40 PM

NEW YORK -- Sick subway passengers, most of them dieters who faint from dizziness, are among the top causes of train delays, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

After track work and signal problems, ill passengers rated among the main reasons for subway disruptions between October 2005 and October 2006, according to an analysis of MTA statistics, AM New York reported Tuesday.

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Asim Nelson, a transit emergency medical technician, told the paper that fainting dieters topped the "sick customer" list.

"Not eating for three or four days, you are going to go down," Nelson said. "If you don't eat for 12 hours, you are going to get weak."

Although the agency doesn't keep an official record of the nature of each rider's illness, the paper said that an average 395 delays each month are caused by sick customers.

The notion that fainting dieters are causing transit delays was previously reported by the newspaper Metro in a 2005 article.

Fainting spells caused by missed meals topped other "sick customer" causes, including flu symptoms, anxiety attacks, hangovers and heat exhaustion, according to Nelson.

Nelson is part of the MTA's "sick Customer Response Program," which consists of emergency medical technicians and registered nurses. When a rider becomes sick, the train conductor must stay with the passenger until emergency responders arrive.


© 2007 The Associated Press