MTA vows to improve safety this Transit Worker Appreciation Day for workers and riders

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, March 18, 2024
NYC Transit President honors workers for National Transit Worker Appreciation Day
Lindsay Tuchman rode the train with a special conductor on National Transit Worker Appreciation Day.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- MTA President Richard Davey became a conductor for the day while touting improved safety measures for workers and riders this Transit Worker Appreciation Day.

This year the annual day of appreciation comes amid some high-profile incidents underground.

MTA President Richard Davey joined the team at Eyewitness News This Morning to thank his employees. He said that the organization is doing everything it can and working with the police to help keep its workers safe.

MTA President Richard Davey joined Eyewitness News to thank workers.

"My message today is just to say thank you to the 47,000 workers, today is Transit Worker Appreciation Day all across the country, but we're celebrating it here in New York. We have a lot of amazing employees like Courtney here. We're also focused on our employees and our riders' safety. You saw cops out as you were coming along, cameras out to catch folks if they want to do something bad in our system, and we're investing in things like homeless outreach and services for emotionally disturbed individuals," Davey said. "So whatever is going on in the city comes down into our system and we need to be prepared."

There have been some very public and troubling incidents aboard public transit recently. There was a shooting aboard an A train last week and last month a conductor was slashed in the neck on the job.

MTA train conductor Courtney Williams, who once was homeless, says he now loves what he does, but that doesn't mean he always feel safe.

"I wouldn't say 100%, but then again, you have to do your part," Williams said. "Try to do your part the best you can. This job, any job is it's not 100%."

Davey called out the need to rid the transit system of weapons and guns. He also said that mental health teams of two MTA police officers paired with a mental health clinician are working to get people the help they need.

Transit leaders also spoke amongst workers at Grand Central Terminal.

"We have got to figure out a way to stop letting people who attack subway and transit employees come in and out of the criminal justice system," said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

Davey said more than four million people rode the transit system last week with very few incidents of crime and called it very safe.

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