NYC subway riders say safety is top concern: survey

New York City subway riders say that personal safety and security are their number one concern while riding the transit system, according to data from a recent MTA survey.

Following concerns about safety, subway riders ranked the primary issues affecting traveller satisfaction in order by: homeless people, people behaving erratically, wait times, and cleanliness, New York Post reports.

The survey found that one in five respondents would ride NYC subways more often if there were “fewer people behaving erratically,” the outlet reports.

Roughly 15 percent of respondents say that a stronger police presence and shorter wait times would potentially incentive them to ride the subways more often.

“There are some people obviously very worried,” MTA board rep Andrew Albert said, according to NY Post. “I’m also seeing very crowded trains at various times of the day. I think people, when they choose to go out, are using the system.”

Safety concerns have long been an issue among subway riders, but recent violent crime has exasperated those concerns.

On April 12, 29 people were shot and injured by suspect Frank James at a Brooklyn subway station, and weeks later a Goldman Sachs employee was shot dead on the transit while heading to brunch.

In response to the increase in gun violence, NYPD has increased officer deployment to subway stations in an attempt to deter criminal activity.

According to recent data released by NYPD, overall transit crime dropped in the month of June, NY Post reports.

In June, 162 felonies were reported at subway stations, while 219 were reported in May. Those felonies that reportedly decreased include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and grand larceny, the outlet reports.

Spokesman Aaron Donovan praised NYPD in a statement for their strong underground police presence, which he attributed to the decrease in criminal activity.

“New strategies have shown signs of success, and the MTA is encouraged by Mayor Adams’ commitment to add social services and police officers as necessary in the subways to achieve further improvement,” Donovan said, according to the outlet.

Regarding wait times, which is a top concern for riders on the weekends, MTA’s Andrew Albert said the current times are “unacceptable.”

“Twenty-some-odd minutes between trains in the middle of a weekend day is just unacceptable,” Albert said. “I can’t tell you how many tourists I’ve helped out in the last couple days, because it’s so confusing for them.”

The survey is drawn from 1,000 self-selected respondents from a “statistically valid,” according to MTA.

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