NYers Demand Safety on the Subways - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, July 1, 2022

NYers Demand Safety on the Subways

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Some of the few remaining old-time New Yorkers tell us tales of when the subway fare was a mere nickel, with free transfers to above ground transportation. The last we looked, a one-way fare was $2.75. But with the increase in ticket prices you get more than you asked or paid for. The treats available to you for not even asking are: stabbings, robberies, rape, murder, threats and an occasional beating or two. Rather infrequently but increasing in number are those whacked up underground dwellers who push innocents, who have actually paid their fares, unto the tracks to be run over by oncoming trains.

And the city’s response to these horrendous acts, over the years, has been totally nil. We were expecting a disclaimer to be printed on every fare ticket relieving the city of any responsibility for your safety once underground. Last week a man awaiting a train at the Franklin Avenue station had a hatchet swung at him. In a separate incident, a woman was struck in the face with a metal pole. Have these hatchets and poles removed from stores at once! Muggings, with citizens being punched, robbed and intimidated are a daily occurrence. The usual response from officialdom is that the “homeless” and “mentally ill” are the culprits, meaning those in charge were throwing up their hands admitting they were helpless in stemming this violence that permeated our subway system.

But last Friday, Mayor Adams appeared to be taking the gloves off and was seriously attacking the problems. He announced a new plan to crack down on all sorts of rule breaking. He also acknowledged that there were people actually living below ground in stations and also within the subway cars, as well. Good start! His words, which we want to believe are sincere, “No more smoking. No more doing drugs. No more sleeping. No more doing barbecues on the subway system. no more just doing whatever you want. No, those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard. Ride the system. Get off at your destination. That’s what this administration is saying.”

Adams was joined by Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell who told us that teams of specially trained NYPD “will canvass high-priority areas on the trains, inside stations and at the end of certain lines, beginning with the A, W 1, 2, N and R lines.” And she added, “The goal, of course, is always to deter or prevent crime. Not just to respond to it.” Heavenly words from those whom we’ll hold responsible for their following through on their promises. Lives and the safety of our citizens are at stake.

We want to believe Adams’ words. We supported him in his successful run for Mayor when he made it clear his first job was to clean up crime in the city, specifically within the subways. Our city’s economy is based on our transit system whereby workers get to and from their jobs. Where our visitors look forward to joyfully riding this intricate system to sight-see and glimpse the scenery from their clean, safe seats within the cars. It may not be back to the good old days, but it’s a start we’ll look forward to.

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