MTA survey suggests it's not just COVID keeping riders away from subway

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new survey from the MTA shows riders are more concerned about crime and harassment on the subway than before.

"I've talked to New Yorkers all over the city, they are focused on the city coming back, I do not believe New Yorkers live in fear, it's just not who we are," Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week.

However, that's not what New Yorkers are apparently telling the MTA -- especially after seeing and hearing stories of innocent people being pushed onto the subway tracks and other random crime.

The MTA recently competed its quarterly survey which will be presented at next week's board meeting.

"They could not have been more clear. They said we want the system to be safe from COVID," NYC Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg said. "They now know it's safe from COVID-19, we need to make sure it's safe from crime and harassment."



Officials say 33,000 customers took the survey online and 87% of respondents said crime and harassment is either extremely important or very important to the riders the MTA is trying to reclaim.

"We're putting our own MTA police into the system more than we ever have before," Feinberg said. "I've hired uniform security contractors, I'm putting cameras up in every station."

Even with the additional resources, 75% of those who responded said they feel safer with a uniformed NYPD officer on the platform, trains and buses.

But confidence can be restored, according to Feinberg, with three to six months of an increased NYPD presence.

And she hopes the city agrees.

"All I'm asking is that we pay attention to what this data is telling us act on it and help the city come back," Feinberg said.

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