The MTA will hire more of its own cops to clear out subway homeless if the city doesn’t sweep every train terminal by the end of the week, Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said Tuesday in a stern ultimatum.
“I want the mayor to send the NYPD and his outreach workers into every single end of line station by the end of the week,” Feinberg said in an afternoon interview with 1010WINS, hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave her two days to come up with a plan.
“If the NYPD and the city cant do it, I got it,” Feinberg said. “We will go hire more MTA police to get this done if we have to.”
The comments came the day after Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded the MTA close stations so the city can clear out the homeless and the MTA can ensure stations are clean amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The MTA has said it is “open” to de Blasio’s demand that they close terminals, but that it would negatively impact essential workers who depends on late-night service.
Speaking to 1010WINS, Feinberg welcomed the NYPD’s booting of 100 people from the subway last night, along with the mayor’s plans to increase outreach at 10 “end-of-line” stations, but said both efforts were insufficient.
“What I need is for them to be in all 38 end-of-line stations,” she said. “We need those folks out, not just in one station like they were last night.”
One rider advocate — non-voting MTA rep Andrew Albert — lambasted the mayor’s station-closure demand as a “terrible idea.”
“Riders need to use those stations and lines to get to early shifts and home from overnight shifts,” Albert said. “Not to mention, the problem would just move to the ‘new’ end of the line.”
The MTA board approved plans last year to dramatically increase the size of the agency’s in-house police force, by about 60 percent to 1,200 officers.
During his own afternoon radio interview Tuesday, on WCBS, Gov. Cuomo, who appoints the MTA’s leadership, called on transit officials to “just tell the governor what you need and I’ll get it done.”
“If they need more police, they should tell me they need more police and we’ll figure that out,” the governor said. “Whatever they need, they need to tell me and I can get it done.”
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan
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