NEW YORK CITY — Cops handed out fare evasion summons like Halloween candy last week as the MTA amped policing inside the city’s subway system, chief Janno Lieber said Monday.
More than 1,500 people received summons for jumping the turnstile last week, an 81 percent increase from the same time period last year, according to the MTA chair.
“It’s early days in the strategy,” Lieber said. “There are already indications of significant progress.”
Monday’s press conference at Grand Central station came one week after Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an increase in subway policing at 300 stations at peak hours.
As subways saw the addition of 1,200 NYPD overtime shifts — funded by the state — arrests underground increased 95 percent, MTA officials said.
Lieber has argued that catching quality-of-life offenders in the subways leads to arrests of wanted people across New York City, reports show.
“Not every fare evader is a criminal,” Lieber reportedly said last week, according to amNY. “Virtually every criminal is a fare evader.”
A spokesperson for the transit advocacy organization Riders Alliance told amNY the group believed this uptick in subway arrests and summons was ultimately broken window dressing.
“It’s a distraction from the work of keeping platforms and trains safe,” Danny Pearlstein told amNY. “It’s needle in a haystack policing.”