Safety is No. 1 concern among NYC subway riders: MTA survey

New York City subway riders say keeping safe on the transit system remains their No. 1 concern, according to a new MTA survey.

“Personal safety & security” ranked top of the list of “what needs to improve” to increase rider satisfaction, the agency’s June customer survey found — followed in order by “homeless people,” “people behaving erratically,” “wait times” and “cleanliness.”

Nearly one in five respondents, meanwhile, said they would ride the subway more often if there were “fewer people behaving erratically,” the survey found. 

Between 10% and 15% of respondents cited more cops, shorter wait times and their personal security as potential incentives to ride more often.

The concerns over safety come after several high profile subway crimes, including a mass shooting on April 12 and the random murder of a Goldman Sachs worker gunned down as he headed to brunch in May.

But overall transit crime dropped in June, according to NYPD stats.

The department said 162 felonies were reported underground in June, a steep dip from the 219 seen in May. Murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and grand larceny all dropped month-over-month.

Nearly one in five respondents said they would ride the subway more often if there were “fewer people behaving erratically,” the survey found. William Farrington

The concerns over safety come after several high profile subway crimes, including a mass shooting on April 12 and the random murder of a Goldman Sachs worker.DANIEL WILLIAM MCKNIGHT

Both figures reflect steep jumps compared to last year, even when adjusted for this year’s higher ridership — June 2022 saw an average of 1.84 felony crimes per million, a 5.1% increase compared to the 1.75 average recorded in June 2021.

Some 23 million more people rode the subways last month compared to June 2021.

“There are some people obviously very worried,” said MTA board rep Andrew Albert, “I’m also seeing very crowded trains at various times of the day. I think people, when they choose to go out, are using the system.”

Between 10% and 15% of respondents cited more cops, shorter wait times and their personal security as potential incentives to ride more often.Christopher Sadowski

Wait times on the subways on weekends and buses in general remain a top concern for riders, regular or otherwise, Albert said. Bus riders cited wait times, crowding, travel time, reliability and fare evasion as their top concerns, the MTA said.

“Twenty-some odd minutes between trains in the middle of a weekend day is just unacceptable,” Albert said. “I can’t tell you how many tourists I’ve helped out in the last couple days, because it’s so confusing for them.”

The MTA said the survey is drawn from “statistically valid” sample of around 1,000 self-selected respondents.

Spokesman Aaron Donovan praised NYPD for upping its presence underground under Mayor Eric Adams.

“New strategies have shown signs of success, and the MTA is encouraged by Mayor Adams’ commitment to add social services and police officers as necessary in the subways to achieve further improvement,” Donovan said in a statement.

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