UNION SQUARE, Manhattan — After days of back and forth between the MTA and City Hall, the Interim NYC Transit President is expressing gratitude to the NYPD.
Sarah Feinberg says Commissioner Shea heard the concerns and agreed to deploy more auxiliary police officers to the top 20 busiest subway stations.
“The addition of these officers is a good step forward but make no mistake, more needs to be done to ensure the system comes back, and in turn the city comes back,” Feinberg said in a statement. “We know that in order for more and more people to return to mass transit they need to feel safe. That’s why we continue to call on the city to add additional full-time police officers and mental health resources to the subway system immediately.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the MTA and Gov. Andrew Cuomo should not be scaring riders. He posted a video on twitter Friday speaking with a resident of the Bronx on a train.
“I’m completely comfortable,” she said and the mayor called her a “real New Yorker.”
The slashing of off-duty conductor Gerard Sykes Wednesday on a J train in Brooklyn has focused more attention on the issue.
NYPD released surveillance video Friday of a man wanted for questioning in the slashing of the subway conductor.
Doctors have upgraded his condition and he is speaking to his family. MTA Chairman Pat Foye says Sykes has a long recovery ahead.
“The system is not as safe as it needs to be and that’s what customers are telling us and employees are telling us on a daily basis,” he said.
Some crimes are down but assaults are up and there fewer riders.
Eric Loegel is a vice president with Transport Workers Union Local 100.
“The police need to be deployed properly and be visible on trains and platforms,” he said.
Transit is asking for 500 more officers. City Hall has said 2,400 officers are assigned to the transit bureau and more than 500 additional offfiers have been deployed.
Mental-health teams are also working in the system.
On Thursday, the subway logged another record with 2,199,688 swipes. The bus is regularly carrying 50% of the pre-pandemic number.