Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday demanded the MTA close 10 select terminals every night so NYPD and outreach workers can clear out the homeless — days after he claimed the city was in “control” of the situation.
“Everyone has to get out of the stations, instead of what’s happened for years and years — that a homeless person just sits on the train, or maybe gets off the train temporarily gets right back on it goes then the whole way back,” de Blasio said at his daily press briefing Tuesday.
“The way to disrupt the pattern is between midnight and 5 a.m., close the stations, deeply clean those stations, which is good for everyone in this moment, have a shuttle bus for customers who need to get on the subway.”
The coronavirus can survive on subway surfaces for up to 72 hours, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“This would be a game-changer. We just need the MTA to say yes,” he said, adding that the program would eventually expand to all 38 subway terminals.
The “end of the line” plan was announced late Monday amid a growing outcry from transit workers and officials over the plight of the homeless living in the subway system, which has seen record-low ridership for over a month.
Transit officials insist that the problem is the city’s to solve, since the Big Apple is legally obligated to provide shelter to its homeless population.
In a Post Op-Ed Tuesday, Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg announced plans to change the subway Code of Conduct to prohibit sleeping, sheltering and storing belongings.
The mayor last week claimed, “NYPD has been out there in force trying to address this issue constantly.”
On Tuesday, de Blasio copped to the existence of a problem — but called it a shared responsibility.
“We’re all responsible to get this done. The state runs the MTA, clearly,” he said. “We’ll devote the police resources, we’ll devote the outreach workers, we’ll do whatever it takes, but we need the MTA to agree to this plan.”
The city will open 200 new “safe haven beds” for street and subway homeless this week, the mayor said — a far cry from the thousands of hotel rooms requested by homeless advocates.
MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins said the agency is “happy the city has agreed to do more to provide safe shelter for homeless New Yorkers as we have been asking for months.”
“We thank NYPD for their partnership, and urge City Hall to take additional aggressive actions so we can focus on safely running transit service and not providing social services,” she said.
Stations impacted would include:
• Coney Island/Stillwell Ave. – D,F
• Flatbush Ave Brooklyn College – 2,5
• Jamaica-179th St. – F
• Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer – E
• WTC – E
• 96th St./2nd Ave. – Q
• Pelham Bay Park – 6
• Van Cortlandt Park 242nd St. – 1
• Wakefield – 241st St. – 2,5
• Woodlawn – 4
Shuttle buses would be provided at those stations, de Blasio said.