New York City subway commuters say maintaining security in the transit system remains their number one concern, according to a new survey by the Transportation and Transportation Authority.
“Personal safety and security” was ranked first on a list of “what needs improvement” to increase passenger satisfaction, the agency’s June customer survey found — followed in order by “people who are homeless,” “people who act sporadically,” and “times to stay home.” Waiting” and “Cleanliness.”
Meanwhile, nearly one in five respondents said they would ride the subway more often if there were “fewer people behaving erratically,” the survey found.
Between 10% and 15% of participants cited more cops, shorter waiting times, and their own security as potential incentives to ride more often.
Safety concerns come after several high-profile crimes on the subway, including the April 12 mass shooting and the indiscriminate killing of a Goldman Sachs worker as he headed to lunch in May.
But total transit crime fell in June, according to NYPD statistics.
The department said 162 felons were reported underground in June, a sharp drop from the 219 felonies seen in May. Murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and grand larceny all fell every month.
Both numbers reflect sharp jumps from last year, even when adjusted for higher passenger numbers for the year – June 2022 saw an average of 1.84 criminal offenses per million, an increase of 5.1% compared to the 1.75 average recorded in June 2021.
About 23 million people took the subway last month, compared to June 2021.
Andrew Albert, representative of the MTA Board of Directors, said, “Obviously there are some people who are very anxious, and I also see very crowded trains at different times of the day. I think people, when they choose to go out, use the system.”
Albert said wait times on the subway on weekends and on buses in general remain a major concern for commuters, both regularly and otherwise. Bus passengers mentioned waiting times, congestion, travel time, reliability and fare evasion as their top concerns.
“About twenty odd minutes between trains in the middle of a weekend day is unacceptable,” Albert said. “I can’t tell you how many tourists I’ve helped in the past two days, because that’s too confusing for them.”
The MTA said the survey is from a “statistically valid” sample of nearly 1,000 self-selected respondents.
Spokesperson Aaron Donovan praised the New York Police Department for stepping up its underground presence under Mayor Eric Adams.
“The new strategies have shown signs of success, and the Transportation and Transport Authority encourages Mayor Adams’ commitment to add social services and police officers as necessary on the Underground for further improvement,” Donovan said in a statement.