Crime and cleanliness are challenges once 24-hour subway service returns

New York State

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — Subway ridership has been about 35% of pre-pandemic numbers.

Two million swipes are a typical weekday on the subway. Some crimes are down dramatically. But the number of cases for some crimes, including assaults, has not decreased.

This week, NYPD released surveillance video of two incidents where riders were attacked on Sunday. In the East Village, a woman was pushed and had her bag stolen.

She spoke with PIX11 News but did not want to identify herself.

“I felt something hit the side of my head and I fell over. Once I was on the ground he hit me again and said give me your bag and grab my bag and left,” she said.

As curfews lift and the subway goes back to 24-hour service, police and transit officials are working to provide a safe and clean system.

NYPD handles law enforcement in transit with about 3,000 officers assigned to the transit bureau. About 600 new transit officers have been added in the past months and the department continues to adjust deployments.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo added his comments this week as he announced more reopenings.

“If people don’t feel that it is safe, it is not safe,” he said.

The MTA is responsible for creating a safe and clean environment. With 24-hour operation resuming May 17, transit cleaners and crews won’t have the same access to train cars.

Matt Ahern is with Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents station crews and transit workers. He says their staffing is down by 100 cleaners.

“That will be important to bring people back,” Ahern said.

Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg on Monday said the agency was reviewing cleaning and disinfecting processes. She also praised the work of transit workers and cleaners.

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