NBC4: Fare Evasion Fight Puts More Officers in NYC Subways, Buses

By AP and Andrew Siff
June 17, 2019

Officials say they're assigning an extra 500 police officers to New York City's transit system amid a jump in fare evasion and assaults on workers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that officers will be deployed to high-ridership subway stations and bus routes, and locations with increased levels of staff assaults.

The 500 extra officers will be comprised of 200 MTA police officers, 200 NYPD officers and 100 will be redeployed from bridges and tunnels, according to officials.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says assaults reported by employees increased by 15.2 percent from 2013 to 2017. The agency says lost revenue from fare evasion jumped from $105 million in 2015 to $225 million in 2018.

According to Cuomo, 100 hot spots will be the primary locations of the extra officers.

NBC 4 New York asked officials about the MTA's brand new multi-million dollar renovated subway stations that include computer screens, cameras and other bells and whistles. Additionally, the new renovations also called for lower entry gates.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., who stopped prosecuting most subway fare evasion cases last year, says his office will contribute $40 million to the policing effort by upgrading security.

Under a revised policy, the NYPD now issues summonses to most fare evasion suspects instead of arresting them.

Meanwhile the Legal Aid Society is concerned that the new crackdown on fare beating is cruel and unfairly targets law income New Yorkers.