No working cameras at City Hall subway station

April 6, 2010 4:45:09 PM PDT
The MTA camera flap just keeps growing. Last week, it was reported that there were no cameras at the Christopher Street station, where two men were stabbed to death and the suspect fled.

And now, it has been released that while there are lots of cameras at the City Hall station, none of them works.

"First of all, there's no excuse for not providing safety. It's the number one job of government to provide safety," public advocate Bill De Blasio said. "You can't run a subway that's not safe and say that's acceptable."

The MTA has 2,270 working cameras in the system, but there's another 2,100 not up and running yet. They're either not hooked up or they're part of an ongoing lawsuit over a high-tech surveillance system that just doesn't work.

The bottom line is that just because you see a camera in the subway, don't assume it's in working order.

"It does it makes me scared and angry," straphanger Monique McGibbon said. "It's like, where are our taxes going to, right?"

"I also ride Metro-North, so I'm always angry at the MTA," rider Seth Feeley said. "You get very little for your money. It's definitely frustrating."

On top of the camera problem, the MTA is cutting about 400 station agents, the eyes and ears of the system. The agency has promised about 900 more cameras coming in June, and that they'll actually work.

But not everybody believes it.

"I respect the leaders of the MTA, but let's face it, the MTA does not have a good record when it comes to telling the truth," De Blasio said. "And so they're talking about 900 cameras. We'll see."