The blaring, high-pitched alarm that screeches out from New York City's subway emergency exit doors, piercing your brain and draining your soul, were switched off by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a benevolent new years gift to commuters.
The alarms, first installed in 2006 to comply with safety codes and deter fare invasion, sound from doors that are, in theory, to be used only in emergencies, but try telling that to anyone with luggage, with a stroller, or squashed on a crowded platform.
"The alarms are pretty much gone now for the most part, though there may be a couple of stragglers," M.T.A. spokesperson Kevin Ortiz told BuzzFeed News.
Ortiz said the alarms routinely feature among the top complaints from New York subway riders. "Part of the reason why we made the decision to remove them is that we listened to our customers, and it was one of the things we heard about the most for customer complaints," he said.
"They did very little to deter fare evasion so the decision to remove them was easy," Ortiz said.
The alarms began being switched off at locations with subway agents over a year ago, but the M.T.A. has now finalized the process of removing them from non-staffed exits.
A short documentary from the New York Times in March 2014, found the average commuter might expect to hear the alarms for a total of FOUR HOURS EACH YEAR.
So long, deafening subway alarms!
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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