LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The MTA said, for the first time ever, a sitting governor attended one of their meetings in person. And with good reason — Gov. Kathy Hochul, and other officials, were on hand to honor the New Yorkers who helped others survive a subway shooting two weeks ago.

Among the 18 MTA employees honored was conductor Raven Haynes, who was on the N train when Frank James allegedly opened fire. She told PIX11 News her main concern was getting on the PA system and telling everyone to get away.

“You really just have to do your job,” she said, “and hope that your quick thinking and basic common sense gets people to safety.”

But much of the focus was not just on that one attack in Sunset Park. A lot of attention was given to fare beating, what can be done about it and to what extent it’s actually contributing to the crime wave we’re seeing in the public transit system.

The city faces a continued trend of everyday violence on the trains and buses.

Currently the MTAs Chair and CEO Jano Lieber is very focused on quality-of-life issues, especially fare beating. He said it’s close to becoming an epidemic — one that the MTA estimates is costing half a billion dollars per year.

The MTA told PIX11 News they arrived at that number by adding about $50 million in fines dodged by people obscuring their license plates while coming across bridges and tunnels, as well as sampling how many times people jumped a turnstile, walked through an exit door or refused to swipe or tap onto a bus.

Lieber insisted it’s contributing to crime in the system.

“The people who commit crimes generally do not slow down to swipe or tap,” he said. “We want them to feel like entering the subway system … is going to put them at risk of being collared, especially if they have weapons.”

The MTA is putting together a committee to make recommendations about how to combat fare beating in a fair way. They insist this is not about taxing the poor, but that they want to go after people who can afford to pay and are refusing, as well as those intent on committing crimes.