The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) said about 350 homeless people live in nearly 90 subway stations, despite New York Mayor Eric Adams promising New Yorkers to get rid of them as part of his new subway safety plan.
Hundreds of homeless people were found in tunnels and New York City subway stations earlier this month, MTA officials said Thursday. Transit workers and outreach workers found nearly 30 “homeless camps” in the tunnels and another 89 camps at the stations.
Camp can be defined as “lying in a sleeping bag or stretching out,” according to officials. All parking lots were removed among the finds.
“We never leave the camp in place. As soon as we locate the camp, these people are immediately removed, ”said MTA spokesman Tim Minton in an interview with the New York Post.
The MTA Track Trespass Task Force, which was formed in December, surveyed 472 stations more than 650 miles away for 12 hours between February 2 and 3 and found 350 people living there, not uncommon for New Yorkers. as the weather gets colder.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, 61, said Friday: “We are and will be dismantling every camp in our system. [It’s] unacceptable.
“Previous administrations may have looked at this and passed them by. We don’t. I am sending the right message that our metro system needs to be safe and secure for passengers.”
A homeless, shirtless man changes while sitting on the E train at the World Trade Center stop (end of the line) while an MTA worker cleans the train. The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) said about 350 homeless people live in nearly 90 subway stations and 29 tunnels.
New Yorkers sit in the middle of an unknown subway car while a homeless man arranges their belongings on the train. “We never leave the camp in place. As soon as we locate the camp, these people are immediately removed, ”said MTA spokesman Tim Minton in an interview with the New York Post.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, 61, implemented a new subway safety plan earlier this month that includes outreach workers (pictured in orange) who offer resources to the homeless and remove them from the subway system.
Adams also said that New Yorkers are still “balancing terrorism” on the subway as well. He said: “As a former traffic policeman, I understand firstly how dangerous these tunnels are, but also we must be clear that we are also balancing terrorism in our city.”
“We are still a target, and when you have those who use the tunnel systems without any form of interaction with law enforcement, you can have a person who not only faces the dangers of a homeless person on the tracks, but you have a potential person who is trying to do something harmful.”
Public relations workers reported the camps to the NYPD, who immediately removed them from the subway system, MTA security chief Pat Warren told the New York Daily News. The MTA Task Force will also conduct “regular” surveys of the homeless camps and will share their findings with police.
Removing and searching for homeless people on the city’s subway system is part of Adams’ new subway safety plan, which includes combating fare evasion, removing homeless people from subway systems at night, and improving public safety at stations and trains.
Adams, a former transit police officer who took office last month who recently considered the subway unsafe, said last week that allowing people to live on the subway is “cruel and inhumane” to them and unfair to other commuters and public transit workers. .
A homeless woman sets up her car and prepares a place to sleep on the Bedford Avenue platform in Brooklyn. An MTA trespass task force, which was formed in December, surveyed 472 stations more than 650 miles away for 12 hours between February 2 and 3, found 350 people living there and removed them.
Part of Adams’ plan is to remove the homeless living on the trains and offer them resources, but the city was unable to provide details on how many of the 350 people they pulled out met with outreach workers.
A woman sits quietly next to her belongings at the Times Square 42nd Street subway station in Manhattan, while other passengers loiter around the station.
“You no longer have to just do what you want,” Adams said at a press conference at a Lower Manhattan subway station. “These days are over. Swipe your MetroCard, ride the system, get off at your destination. That’s what this administration says.”
“People tell me about their fear of using the system,” Adams said last week. “And we’ll make sure fear isn’t a reality in New York.”
MTA Citizens’ Permanent Advisory Committee member Lisa Daghlian told the New York Post: “It’s scary to realize that people live in tunnels, but this is nothing new. We’re lucky the people camping in the tunnels won’t harm the system, but one day our luck will run out.
“People tell me about their fear of using the system,” Adams said last week. Earlier this year, the mayor himself deemed the metro unsafe. “You no longer have to just do what you want,” Adams said at a press conference at a Lower Manhattan subway station. “These days are over. Swipe your MetroCard, ride the system, get off at your destination. That’s what this administration says.
“No one should live in the subway system, be it in a subway car, be it in a subway station, be it in a subway tunnel. This is not a house. There should be enough housing for people to live.”
Adams’ plan, which he sees as important for New York City’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, also includes changes that should link more homeless people, many of whom have mental illness, substance abuse problems, or both, to services. mental health care and permanent housing.
In tandem with the huge rise in crime in the Big Apple—general crime has risen by nearly 50 percent—transport crime has risen by 60 percent as many New Yorkers have become fearful of the subway system.
Representatives from Adam’s office and the city’s Department of Human Services were unable to determine how many people removed from the tunnels and stations were met by social workers and offered resources, according to the New York Daily News.
On February 22, the second day of the Adams program, homeless people were still seen on the subway at Flatbush Junction (pictured) and other stations.
A man sleeps soundlessly, stretched out in the middle of the train, using his backpack as a pillow on train 1.
The MTA described the “camps” as “lying in a sleeping bag or sprawling”, as seen at the Fulton Street station in Manhattan earlier this week.
Many homeless people take refuge in subway stations and trains when the winter gets colder.
In New York, the overall crime rate has risen by almost 50 percent, and the number of crimes related to transportation has risen by almost 61 percent.
Track Trespass leader Jamie Torres-Springer said that camping in the tunnels “leads directly to off-track incidents.” The agency began tracking these incidents in January.
According to Torres-Springer, there were about 160 cases of railroad trespassing in January, and about 50 of them were attributed to the mentally ill. Another incident included slips and falls, pushing, drunkenness and suicide.
“Last year there were 1,267 incidents involving people on the tracks, which is a 20% increase from 2019,” Torres-Springer told the New York Post. “Of these incidents, 200 resulted in someone being hit by a train and 68 people died.” According to him, about a quarter of the collisions on the railroad tracks were committed by people who tried to commit suicide.
The MTA recently announced that three subway stations will now be equipped with platform guards and laser technology that detects movement to prevent people from being ejected or jumping onto the tracks. However, the project will take years to complete and will cost billions of dollars, the agency said.
“This will take some time,” MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said Wednesday. “Our goal is to test these technologies in different places in the system, including at three stations, testing the platform doors.” The MTA will also partner with NYU Medical Center “to figure out how to keep people from, God forbid, committing suicide by jumping on the tracks.”
Platform doors have been considered for many years, and a 2017 report estimated that installing platform doors in nearly 500 New York City stations would cost the city nearly $7 billion.
“While we are pleased that the platform doors are being tested, we do not believe this is the answer for the entire system as it will mean platform refurbishment, likely temporary station closures and other issues including rolling stock alignment,” MTA permanent citizens said. This was announced on Wednesday by a member of the Advisory Committee Kara Gurl.