The homelessness situation on city subways is “disgusting” and “disrespectful” to New Yorkers who depend on mass transit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
“That is disgusting, what is happening on those subway cars,” Cuomo told reporters in Syracuse, in reference to news reports in The Post and other news outlets of trains filled with homeless people and their belongings.
“It’s disrespectful to the essential workers who need to ride the subway system,” said the governor, who controls the MTA through the appointment of its top leadership. “We have to have a public transportation system that is clean, where the trains are disinfected.”
Cuomo’s comments came hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio finally relented to pressure from transit officials to devote more city resources to addressing the issue. On Tuesday morning, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea claimed to have kicked 100 people out of the system in a single day, though it was unclear how many were indigent.
Hizzoner also demanded the MTA close terminals every night for outreach workers and NYPD to clear people out of stations.
Advocates for the homeless have called on the city to provide tens of thousands of hotel rooms for transients. The mayor said 200 “safe haven beds” would be made available this week o street and subway homeless.
On Monday, The Post spoke exclusively with a train operator who witnessed a presumably homeless straphanger defecating with his legs raised in the air over his head so his full rear end was in view.
“It’s not even safe for the homeless people to be on trains,” Cuomo told reporters. “We’re concerned about homeless people so we let them stay on the trains without protection in this epidemic of the COVID virus? No, we have to do better than that and we will.”
“We talked early on about closing down public transportation. They said forget it — that’s how the nurses are getting to work,” he said. “Public transportation is vital for them, well, then make sure public transportation is safe and disinfected.”