NEW YORK (PIX11) — District attorneys in New York City should be prosecuting fare evasion, Mayor Eric Adams said Monday.
Adams, a former transit cop, did it himself often as a child, Adams said during the PIX11 Democratic Mayoral Forum. He said he “actually didn’t think you were supposed to pay.” Now, as mayor, he wants people to remember it’s a crime.
“If we start saying it’s alright for you to jump the turnstile, we are creating an environment where any and everything goes,” Adams said. “It’s a crime. Now, you can defer prosecution, you can put people in programs, you could do all sorts of things, but let’s not ignore it, and that’s what’s happening to our subway system.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office stopped prosecuting fare evaders under DA Cyrus Vance’s tenure. He said the criminal justice system should be focused on people who endanger public safety. A spokesperson for his successor, DA Alvin Bragg, did not have a statement on the issue when asked about the issue.