Subway Ridership is Up, Crime on the Rails is Down, according to the NYPD
By Yehudit Garmaise
More New Yorkers are heading to the subway, and crime on the transit system is down, according, to NYPD records that are expected to be shared at today’s meeting at the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Not only did the country’s largest transit system see 10 million more riders in October than in September, but major felonies on the New York City subway were down in almost every category last month.
“It looks as though we’re seeing movement in the right direction on major crimes, though clearly: more needs to be done to make riders feel, and be safe,” said Lisa Daglian of the MTA’s permanent citizens advisory committee.
In October, in the MTA’s 472 subway stations citywide, the NYPD recorded 40 robberies, 85 grand larcenies, and 34 felony assaults, which are down from 52, 96, and 36 during September.
The subway system saw 161 major felonies overall in October, which is still higher than the 154 felonies committed in the underground rail system in October 2020, when ridership was considerably lower, due to the pandemic.
Although, compared with the 184 crimes that took place in the subway in September, crime has been coming down significantly since May, when subway crime shot up by 93%, compared to May of 2020.
Last spring, when shovings, slashings, and other disturbing crimes did not only generate headlines, but influenced Mayor Bill de Blasio to surge into the subways 250 more police officers, who, when added to the more than 3,000 officers who were already patrolling the subway system, made the police presence in the subway system the largest it has been in 25 years.
Also back in May, approximately 80 unarmed, but trained auxiliary officers also were assigned to patrol the city’s 20 busiest subway stations.
New Yorkers have that increased police presence on the city’s trains and platforms to thank for the reduced crime in the subway system, said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan, who added that increased ridership also contributes to safety, with the thinking that the subways are safer when more New Yorkers are riding them.
“Riders are coming back, and crime is coming down, which are favorable, self-reinforcing trends for the MTA and New York City,” Donovan said in a statement. “The NYPD surged officers into the subway system this summer as the MTA accelerated roll-out of security cameras, reaching all 472 stations.
“Criminals who prey on transit riders know investigators will have their pictures, and justice will catch up with them.”