MTA Offers Cash to Stop Worker Assaults

May 21, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
A subway conductor waits for passengers to board the train
A subway conductor waits for passengers to board the train. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—A new program announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will give up to $2,000 to persons who help police find those who assault MTA workers. Transit Watch, which will be funded by the MTA, has the support of the Transit Workers Union.

Assaults include taking verbal abuse, or getting punched, or spit on. The ongoing problem has prompted multiple proposals from concerned parties. State Sen. Eric Adams last month proposed giving the MTA and Amtrak the option of allowing workers to carry Tasers (stun guns) for personal protection, especially in more isolated parts of the city.

MTA chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota issued a statement after Gov. Cuomo’s announcement on Monday. “An attack on any one of our workers is an attack on all of us, and we share the goal of protecting our employees as they put their lives on the line every day.”

Last year through mid-May, 40 MTA employees were assaulted. This year already, 48 assaults have been reported. The Class D felony of assaulting an MTA employee can result in a sentence of up to seven years in jail.

Witnesses can call the NYPD’s Crimestoppers program at 800-577-TIPS (800-577-8477).

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