Transit crime down 6% this year as MTA seeks to assuage rider fears

Screenshot 2024-04-29 150510
NYPD cops ride the 4 train.
File Photo by Dean Moses

Major felonies in the transit system are down 6% in 2024 compared to last year, according to NYPD statistics provided Monday.

The decrease comes in the wake of high-profile crimes on the subway that struck fear in the hearts of New Yorkers — and repeated surges of law enforcement personnel underground.

The NYPD has recorded 661 “index crimes” through April 28, a 6.4% drop from the 706 recorded through the same period last year. The biggest decline was seen in robberies, which at 136 so far in 2024 are 25% below the numbers last year.

Murders are double what they were last year, at 4 compared to 2, but the subway has not seen a murder during April. The most recent subway homicide involved the shoving death of Jason Volz at the 125th Street stop on the Lexington Avenue line in March.

Compared to millions of rides each day, the number of transit crimes per day are very low, but high-profile crimes with significant media coverage tend to strike a nerve among New Yorkers about the city’s most prominent shared public space.

Transit and law enforcement officials say a big part of their work is also to ensure that riders feel safe.

“Our hard work is paying off and the subway system is all the safer for it. But there is still work to do and our work is never done,” said Deputy Chief Norman Grandstaff of the NYPD’s Transit Bureau at the MTA Board on Monday. “We will continue to face lawlessness head-on until every person who depends on the system not only knows that they’re statistically safe, but they feel safe as well.”

The city has added thousands of NYPD officers to the system following a series of high-profile shootings earlier this year.

Arrests are up in the transit system by more than 50%, with 6,545 recorded thus far in 2024. 24 people have been arrested with firearms on them this year, up 60% from last year, while 634 people have been arrested carrying knives, a 63% increase.

Fare evasion arrests are also up by over 90%.