Cuomo announces crackdown on fare-beaters and transit crime

Waving goodbye to crime: Governor Cuomo announced a major crackdown against transit crime at a June 17 press conference in Midtown Manhattan.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a major crackdown to combat violence and fare evasion on subways and buses, committing an additional 500 uniformed officers to the city’s transit system.

“Fare evasion is a growing, monetarily significant problem,” the governor said at a June 17 press conference. “More and more people are evading the fare, and getting on the trains without paying. That’s not only a legal violation, it’s unfair to everyone.”

Of the newly commissioned transit-cops, 400 will be reassigned officers who currently patrol for the MTA and the NYPD, and 100 will be redeployed Bridge and Tunnel officers — whose jobs have become obsolete thanks to automatic tolling on highways, according to Cuomo.

The transit cops will focus on patrolling 100 subway stops and bus routes which authorities have deemed ‘hotspots’ for fare-beaters and bruisers.

Cuomo said the effort would help recoup missed revenue for the cash strapped subway system, which lost out on $243 million over the last 12 months, according to a recently released MTA study.

The additional law enforcement agents will also work to combat the growing numbers of assaults that occur on subways and busses, according to Cuomo, who highlighted another report on violence against transit workers from 2013 to 2017.

“We’ve seen 2,300 harassments incidents of MTA employees. One hundred assaults — stabbings, punchings violence — against MTA employees,” the governor said. “It’s incomprehensible to me. It’s a true problem, and it’s getting worse.”

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the additional forces were needed to help prevent crimes against civilian subway riders.

“Our priority is to keep the nearly six million riders who use the subway each day safe, and to ensure quality-of-life on the trains and in stations,” he said. “In 1990, there were nearly 17,500 transit crimes, compared to 2018, where there were 2,500 transit crimes, which is approximately one crime for every million riders.”

The Transport Workers Union Local 100 — which represents over 40,000 MTA workers — celebrated the announcement as a major victory for the livelihood of transportation civil servants, according to the organizations president.

“This is a big victory,” said Tony Utano. “We want to go to work and do our jobs and go home to our families unharmed. We are sick and tired of the abuse. We are hopeful that these additional officers will not only deter attacks against our members but also result in quick arrests when crimes do take place. Our voices have been heard. This is a big step forward.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 8:49 am, June 19, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Boris from Borough Park says:
About time that someone in authority paid attention to this. Streams of people walk into the system through open exit doors.
June 19, 2019, 8:10 am
Somebody from Somewhere says:
They've be cracking down for years & what difference has it made? *CRICKETS*
June 19, 2019, 10:19 am
Local from Here says:
Also, good job by Cuomo holding the line against the druggies that want legal marijuana. Arrest these criminals and seize their assets and maybe they will grow up and get off the weed.
June 19, 2019, 11:43 am
Local from Here says:
Lol at the shrieking refer madness Nancy.
June 19, 2019, 12:32 pm
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
You want far less fare evasion Governor Crony, then order your MTA to increase bus and subway service citywide. Then again, if there's still fare evasion by both criminals and people without a lot of money, then it's the rest of us fare payer will be receiving much higher fare increases in the future.
June 19, 2019, 1 pm
Commuter from Brooklyn says:
Cuomo allowed the removal of kiosks and staff in the subway stations, thus the lack of supervision at the train stations where you can just jump the turnstyle. Really stupid idea. But, this is what happens when your governor doesn't take mass transit and the mayors office is on siesta.
June 19, 2019, 10:54 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Next Andy will repeal the law of unintended consequences.
June 20, 2019, 9:10 am
Tyler from pps says:
"If you want far less fare evasion, then increase bus and subway service" HUH?!
June 20, 2019, 5:10 pm
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
I withdrawn that previous statement: I saw and heard MTA ads everywhere about paying your fare, fare evasion, the $100 fine, arrests and banishment of the system. Fare evaders regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, money earned beware.
June 21, 2019, 7:24 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I have a feeling that the transit fanatics over on Transportation Alternatives and Streetsblog will be crying foul to this especially if some of them doing such are probably members of such group.
June 22, 2019, 6:20 pm

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