New York City’s subways will be safer once the subways hit 4 or 5 million daily riders, Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said Sunday — while reiterating her call for more police underground until that point comes.
“We know that there’s safety in numbers. There’s a tipping point where, when we get ridership back to 4 and a half, 5 million people a day, we’ll be in a better place,” Feinberg said on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC AM 970, adding that crime rates could drop to pre-pandemic levels once ridership normalizes.
“What we’ve been asking for additional policing resources between now and when we get to that tipping point.”
Subway ridership plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to hover around 2 million daily riders — much less than the 5.5 million daily trips in 2019.
On Friday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea promised to deploy additional unarmed volunteer cops to the top 20 busiest stations, following a torrent of pleas from the MTA and Gov. Cuomo for more officers.
Feinberg on Sunday welcomed the additional manpower but said “it’s not enough.”
“I think of it as the next three to six months when we’re really desperate to get people to come back to New York, come back to the New York economy, come back to the transit system,” she told radio host John Catsimatidis.
The subways saw 2.32 felony crimes per million riders in March 2021, compared to 2.65 felonies per million riders the previous month, NYPD data shows. But both figures are significantly higher than the 1.47 crimes per million riders across all of 2019.
Feinberg praised Shea, who on Friday fired back at her boss Cuomo over his concerns about subway crime — sniping, “I stopped listening a long time ago.”
“I have a great relationship with him. He’s always available, gets back to me really quickly, we are in pretty constant communication,” Feinberg said of the top cop.
“I think that he understands the situation we’re in, that crime is at a level that it shouldn’t be in the system.”