NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Eric Adam’s new zero tolerance enforcement plan took effect Monday on New York City subways, following a violent weekend underground.
As CBS2’s John Dias reported, it’s a new level of security many subway riders were asking for.
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Police are strictly enforcing transit rules, checking trains and addressing things like:
- Sleeping across multiple seats
- Exhibiting aggressive behavior
- Creating an unsanitary environment
Cops will also require — not recommend — riders clear trains at the end of the line.
“It’s a quality of life issue and if you talk to any New Yorker, and they’ll tell you it’s very important,” said Barry Swady, a subway rider.
Pressure has been mounting on the MTA with transit crimes up 65% so far in 2022, compared to 2021.
New data from the NYPD’s Transit Bureau showed subway crimes were up by more than 100 cases compared to the same time period last year. Robbery and gun larceny each more than doubled. The rates for other types of crime stayed about the same.
Overnight, there was an assault on a 4 train in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx. Police said a woman was struck in the face with a metal object after she got into an argument with a stranger.
There were six subway stabbings since Friday night at stations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
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“This is why I’m literally standing like this, watching, because it’s scary,” said Danielle Dwerling.
Mayor Adams is also sending 30 teams of outreach workers with police into the system to remove those he says are making the subway their home. Violence involving homeless people has also been a prime concern.
Adams insisted enforcement will not be heavy-handed.
“The system is not made to be housing. It’s made to be transportation, and we have to return back to that basic philosophy,” Adams said.
Advocates for the homeless condemn the mayor’s approach. The Coalition for the Homeless called it “sickening” and “a repeat of failed strategies.”
Some New Yorkers agree.
“I’m a little worried that, yeah, it might get too aggressive,” said Zoey Harris.
“I think it’s disgusting that they would try and kick people off the trains that are just looking for shelter,” said Liam Stahl. “They’re actively hurting them by kicking them out into the cold.”
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Gov. Kathy Hochul said New York is investing $40 million to open hundreds of supportive housing beds and psych beds statewide, hoping hospitals will admit more patients.