Tension between NYC, MTA over homeless in transit stations

- Homeless people lying on the streets is a heartbreaking sight for some and a disturbing sight for others.

Fox 5 spotted workers outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal several times a week during the morning rush throwing buckets filled with bleach and water onto the building and sidewalks in spots that routinely reek of urine.

Commutes are also being impacted because many homeless have nowhere to go but into train and bus stations.

Both Mayor bill de Blasio and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota are being asked about the problem. The MTA is run by the state. But since 1995, the NYPD has been in charge of enforcement in the subway system.

"Recently, the MTA has repeatedly asked the NYPD to help the expanding number of homeless people in the system find shelter outside of the trains and stations," Lhota said.

The issue of homelessness is the city's responsibility.

"The NYPD patrols the subways and would never accept that kind of condition if they saw it and obviously our homeless outreach teams, which have increasingly found effective ways to get people off the streets," de Blasio said.

The mayor said an NYPD officer can use discretion in deciding whether or not a homeless person should be charged with anything, depending on the circumstance. De Blasio added that homeless persons sleeping in the subways is unacceptable and said a patrol officer sees that he or she should address it.

 

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