MTA puts cops on buses to lure riders back, stop fare evasion

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has began deploying its personal police power onto its buses and is tapping NYPD to add extra of its Boys in Blue to patrol the individuals movers, officers stated Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Whereas NYPD at present stations its officers from the Transit Bureau at subway stops and trains, the MTA is testing out methods to get cops onto its hundreds of buses traversing the 5 Boroughs.

“It’s a challenging piece of the equation, because there’s like 6,000 buses moving at any given time during the day,” stated MTA Chief Security Officer Pat Warren through the company’s month-to-month board assembly. “We’re looking right now at those high-volume bus lines and times and day of location.”

Transit gurus are piloting shifting some MTA PD officers on the buses and is in talks with NYPD to get street-level officers — not from the Transit Bureau — on board as effectively, together with extra safety brokers, in accordance to Warren.

Though crime is down within the transit system, the transfer comes as a part of an effort to entice extra cautious riders again, but in addition to implement fare evasion as MTA plans to check back-door boarding with its new tap-and-go fare fee system OMNY throughout 10 bus traces subsequent yr.

“We have to deal with this, we’re about to go to all-door boarding,” stated MTA appearing Chairperson and CEO Janno Lieber. “We’re about to enter a new period of how fares are collected in the bus environment and we need, in fairness, to have some enforcement, we’re going on the European model.”

An MTA survey of 123,000 present and lapsed riders in September and October discovered that their notion of crime and harassment was the primary concern amongst those that have but to return to public transit.

Regardless of some latest incidents of straphangers being shoved onto the tracks, the system has turn out to be safer, and after riders come again, late trains and different service disruptions turn out to be a much bigger problem to them, stated MTA Chief Buyer Officer Sarah Meyer.

“The system has never been safer, so once they get into the system they recognize and feel that, but we need to get them into the system first, that’s where our focus is,” stated Meyer. “Once we get them back, they will stay back and they will start to complain about the things they’ve complained about before.”

The latest stats from NYPD show crime is down 11.9% from January by October 2021, in contrast to the identical time final yr, with a lower throughout all main felonies apart from assaults, that are up 29.1%.

When Lieber was requested by a reporter about pushing a extra optimistic message and as a substitute highlighting that crime numbers truly are down, the transit bigwig stated he wished to heed riders’ considerations and partially blamed the press for amplifying the general public’s fears.

“We have to deal with riders’ real perceptions, which you’re a part of the echo system in creating,” he stated throughout a press convention after the board assembly. “I’m not going to argue with my riders and, frankly, I think they’re entitled to feel, if they feel vulnerable on a subway platform they’re entitled to attention and I want to provide them with that assurance of safety.”

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