NYC subway crime debate heats up between MTA, Transport Workers Union

After another week of high-profile crimes on the NYC subway, the Transport Workers Union is stepping into the conversation about safety for straphangers, saying that MTA executives are deliberately downplaying the problem.

"We feel that Janno Lieber and the MTA has to do more and they have to not make these outrageous statements that the subway system crimes are down. because it is not obviously, as you can see," said Richard Davis, the President of TWU Local 100.

The latest numbers from the NYPD bear that out, showing that subway crimes have jumped 22.6% compared with last year.

Davis specifically criticized a recent statement by Lieber on Friday, after 45-year-old William Alavarez was fatally attacked onboard a D train in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.

RELATED: Man killed on 'D' train in the Bronx; police seek 3 suspects

"The month of February, it's down compared to last year," said Lieber about crime on the subway. "And that's because [NYC Mayor Eric] Adams and the NYPD have surged cops into the subway system."

Davis said that painting a picture that things are better one month is downplaying the severity of crime on the city's subway.

"Our members are being assaulted, the riding public is being assaulted, felony crimes and assaults are up from last year," Davis said. 


Subway crime on the rise, despite increase in arrests: NYPD

Subway crimes have jumped nearly 23% this year, despite a rise in arrests. Law enforcement experts point the finger at laws that allow suspects back out on the streets before long.

The NYPD tells FOX 5 NY that 138 out of 266 crimes on the subway so far this year are grand larcenies, up around 40% compared to 2023.

In a statement responding to Davis' claims, an MTA spokesperson said: "It’s not clear where Richie Davis has been (not at incident scenes) or why he’s attacking the NYPD, the finest police department in the world, at a time when the mayor is surging officers into transit to maintain safety for riders and MTA workers."