NYC Plans To Restrict Homeless From Sleeping In The Subway
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to make the city’s subway system safer, by using law enforcement to ensure that people are leaving the train and station at the end of their ride.
The decreasing safety of the subway system has become a concern as two people were recently pushed off the platform onto the train tracks in separate incidents and six people were stabbed in a span of just three days.
“We are not going to wait until someone shoves a person onto the tracks,” Adams announced at a joint news conference with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We are going to engage New Yorkers who are unhoused or dealing with mental health crises.”
Adams’ new plan includes 30 response teams to direct those who need help to city resources. Along with prioritizing the use of shelter and mental health services, Adams said police officers will be required to enforce the MTA’s code of conduct, which included fining those who litter, smoke, don’t pay transit fares and take up more than one seat.
The number of people who use the city’s subway system as shelter is unknown, but last year, the New York Times estimated that number to come in around 1,300.
Adrienne Adams, who is the speaker of the New York City Council, warned that enforcement of the laws should not criminalize people who are just in need of help.
“Cycling people through a destabilizing revolving door of the criminal justice system to end up in a worse condition back on the subways and our streets would only make us less safe,” said a statement from Adams, who is not related to the mayor.
Around three million people utilize the New York subway system each day, which is just half the number that rode the trains pre-COVID, but the level of crime is the same it was before.
“We know it’s a big problem,” Hochul said. “But shame on us if this moment in time, if we don’t turn over every single stone, find every possible way to deal with this.”