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With a spike in violent crime in the transit system and swathes of the city in subway deserts, mayoral candidate Scott Stringer wants to be “the street mayor.” 

He’s called for investments in 35 miles of new busways a year and more bike lanes around New York. Stringer, who as comptroller is the city’s money man, said the focus shouldn’t be on new subway stations because they’re expensive and take a long time to build. 

“Our buses are the future, especially for workers who live farthest out from the business districts,” Stringer said in an exclusive forum with PIX11’s Ayana Harry and Henry Rosoff.

The transportation system is stuck in the past when workers all came from the outer boroughs into Manhattan, he said. 

“We now have a five borough economy so we have to have a transportation infrastructure that respects and understands that,” Stringer said. 

New York City’s overall economy was hard hit by the COVID pandemic. Revenue plunged when tourists stopped their visits and expenses soared as the city paid for the war on coronavirus. 

Nearly 1.5 million New Yorkers live in poverty, Census Bureau data shows. Many especially struggled with unemployment in the months since the pandemic began. 

“The city got knocked down during COVID,” Stringer said. 

He zeroed in on ThriveNYC, a widely-criticized mental health program the city budgeted $226.7 million for in 2021, as a place to get additional resources from. Stringer would direct that money into social workers and a mental health initiative at schools, specifically in light of the learning loss students suffered over the pandemic. 

The comptroller, who’s also worked in the State Assembly and as Manhattan borough president, said he’s the candidate to help New York City get back up. 

“One of the things this election showcased is that we can’t have amateurs in office,” he said. “Donald Trump was an amateur and he killed a lot of people. We lost 32,000 lives in the city. My mom died of COVID. So we need a mayor who is going to be capable of dealing with some of these challenges that come our way.”

Stringer also answered questions on the sexual abuse allegations against him and the changes he’d make to the NYPD to lower crime around New York City and keep residents safe. Watch the full interview to find out these answers and more.