Throughout it all, Ms. Haynes, who has been a transit worker for only about 17 months, knew the crew had to remain under control.
“You having a calm demeanor helps your passengers stay calm, which helps them get out safely,” she said.
Outside the station, Parla Mejia was driving a B37 bus, which travels a route from Fort Hamilton in southwest Brooklyn to the Barclays Center. As she neared the 36th Street station, she saw people streaming up the stairs. As they crowded onto the bus, she said, all she understood was that the train they had been on was out of service.
It was not until several blocks later, near the 25th Street station, that she learned of the shooting.
“I saw plenty of students — teenagers, maybe about 20 or 30 of them, just running toward my bus,” said Ms. Mejia, another of the transit workers who was honored on Friday. “And there was a young lady there, calling, ‘Run, let’s go, come on, come on, let’s go.’”
Ms. Mejia, who has worked for the transportation authority for four years, tried to pack as many of the fleeing subway riders as she could onto the bus. She estimated that there were about 80 people crammed aboard, including in the front, where riders are typically forbidden.
“It was so packed that I said, ‘You guys have to brace yourself and hold on,’” she said. “I told them, ‘If you can put three in a seat, let’s. Let me get you guys safely to the end.’”