MTA boss wants violent criminals banned from NYC trains and buses

Violent offenders should be banned from MTA trains and buses, MTA boss Janno Lieber demanded on Monday.

At a Manhattan Institute breakfast, the agency boss noted a recent “subway ban law applicable to narrow circumstances.”

“We have to extend it to more circumstances,” Lieber said.

New York law limits transit bans to sex offenders and individuals who assault MTA workers. Only one person has been banned so far — a convicted transit pervert who a judge banned from the Long Island Railroad for two years last month for sexually assaulting an MTA conductor.

Lieber said MTA leaders would like to see the judicial powers expanded to allow rail and bus bans for anyone convicted of a violent crime.

“I see no reason for violent crimes in the system – if some of them go to jail, at least they shouldn’t be able to use the system and face their victims,” ​​he said.

Guatemala Hector Hernandez
Hector Hernandez was slashed across the face while bystanders looked on.
Paul Martinka

Albany state lawmakers amended the state’s criminal code in April 2020 to allow judges to ban individuals who assault MTA workers or commit sex crimes in transit from traveling on the rails as a suspended sentence or parole. The statute is rarely used.

Before the 2020 law, defendants would have to voluntarily agree to stop riding the subway.

“There’s no reason someone who’s being bullied in the system has to go in two months later and see the person who attacked them or harmed them in the system,” Lieber said. “I want to see more bans.”

According to the latest available statistics, underground crime has increased by 40% this year compared to 2021.

MTA boss Janno Lieber speaks in front of a parked subway car
MTA boss Janno Lieber wants more convicted perpetrators to be banned from local transport.
Dennis A Clark

The increase outpaced the 38% increase in ridership over the same period. However, according to NYPD figures, drivers are still more likely to be criminals than before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Violent crime has also increased, particularly murder. The NYPD recorded eight subway homicides in 2021 and eight in 2022 through the end of October — up from three in 2019 and the highest annual totals in 25 years.

Transit unions have been pushing hard for more driving bans – although some passenger advocates have criticized the policy.

“The subway should be a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for everyone. The ban has been on the books for years with little impact,” said Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein.

“The subway is the city’s pre-eminent public space and faces the same challenges as any other public space. Bans are a simple attempt to address deep-rooted issues.” MTA boss wants violent criminals banned from NYC trains and buses


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