The MTA is moving forward with its plan to install surveillance cameras inside every subway car as it continues its effort to improve transit safety, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday.
All 6,455 subway cars will have two security cameras each by “sometime in 2025,” Hochul said in a press release.
The MTA has already fitted 100 of those cars with cameras as part of a pilot program it rolled out earlier this summer, the release noted.
What You Need To Know
- The MTA is moving forward with its plan to install surveillance cameras inside every subway car, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday
- All 6,455 subway cars will have two security cameras each by “sometime in 2025,” Hochul said in a press release
- The MTA will also roll out a “train patrol unit” on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad routes starting in January, an official said Monday
Though the subway system has seen a 21% drop in crime since June, transit safety is “not where we want it to be,” Hochul said at a news conference.
The new network of cameras will act as a “deterrent” to would-be criminals, while bolstering the NYPD’s crime-solving capabilities, the governor said.
“You think Big Brother’s watching you on the subways? You’re absolutely right. That is our intent,” she said. “To get the message out that we are going to be having surveillance of activities on the subway trains, and that is going to give people great peace of mind.”
“If you’re concerned about this, the best answer is, don’t commit any crimes on the subways,” she added. “Then you won’t have any problems.”
Funding for $2 million of the $5.5 million initiative will come from a federal grant program, with the rest set to come through the MTA’s Subway Action Plan, according to the release.
Hochul’s announcement came months after a gunman opened fire on a morning rush-hour train as it pulled into a station in Brooklyn, leaving more than two dozen people with injuries, including 10 people who were shot.
The following month, a gunman shot and killed a subway passenger on a Manhattan-bound Q train in an unprovoked attack. Those and other high-profile transit crimes have left riders feeling “vulnerable,” MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said at Tuesday’s news conference.
“Today’s announcement is another example of how we’re not just listening to customer concerns, but actually acting on it,” Lieber said.
“The message, as the governor said, is loud and clear: if you prey on New Yorkers, or you commit vandalism or damage MTA facilities, we’re going to have pictures of you, and the NYPD is going to find you, going to catch you and going to punish you,” he added.
The MTA’s efforts to improve safety extend to its other transit lines as well. At a committee meeting on Monday, MTA Police Commissioner John Mueller said the agency planned to roll out a “train patrol unit” on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad routes beginning in January.
Approximately 60 officers and their supervisors will be “dedicated exclusively to train patrols,” with a focus on “priority stations” and trains transporting the highest number of riders, Mueller said.
Officers will patrol platforms and trains in pairs starting at 5 a.m., when the MTA “start[s] to see the flow of ridership in the morning,” he added.
“It’s going to be an entire package of visibility and addressing quality of life issues,” he explained.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams — with whom Hochul released a plan to address subway safety in February — said the MTA’s camera initiative would bring “positive changes” to the transit system.
“Public safety is my top priority and this new security initiative will further work to ensure that all New Yorkers can get back to where they need to go safely,” he said.