Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced a new crackdown on fare evasion and transit violence in the city, with 500 officers sent to police 50 subway stations and 50 bus routes.
Among the ranks will be 200 redeployed MTA cops, 100 Bridge and Tunnels peace officers who Cuomo says can be reassigned thanks to automatic tolling on bridges and 200 NYPD officers “who will be assigned to transit,” he said.
“Fare evasion is a growing, monetarily significant problem,” Cuomo said at a press conference
The cash-strapped authority lost $100 million to fare beaters in 2016. That number jumped to $225 million the following year and then rose again to more than $240 million in 2018.
“That is not only a legal violation. It’s unfair to everyone,” Cuomo said. “You just raised the fare… and people are exploiting it by not paying the fare at all.”The security push will also combat subway violence, particularly attacks on MTA workers, according to the governor.
“It is a true problem. It’s getting worse. We’ve had 2,300 harassment incidents of MTA employees. One hundred assaults, stabbings, punchings, violence against MTA employees,” Cuomo said, though Cuomo did not make the time period immediately clear. “These are public servants. There are people who are doing a very difficult job. You think it’s easy?”
The announcement comes after an unhinged strap hanger slugged an MTA worker in an unprovoked Harlem attack on Saturday.
The officers’ deployments will “correspond with the stations or bus routes where we’ve seen assaults on MTA workers,” Cuomo said.
The Bridge and Tunnel officers are already in place, according to a law enforcement source, but it was not immediately clear when all the cops would take up their posts.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona