(The Center Square) – For those riding a New York City subway, “Big Brother” is going to be watching. And Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul wants it known.
Hochul and Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber announced Tuesday that the state will spend $5.5 million to install cameras on all subway trains.
- By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor
- Sep 20, 2022
- Republished with Permission: The Roosevelt Island Daily News
Each of the more than 6,400 subway cars will receive two cameras that produce images with enough resolution to identify perpetrators of violent behavior and other criminal acts. The plan is to install them in 200 cars monthly, with the entire fleet covered by 2025.
“So, you don’t know which ones have the cameras right now,” she said. “Ultimately, they all will, but I would behave as if you’re being watched. Because you are.”
The funding for the cameras includes $2 million from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant program to bolster safety in urban areas. Besides the trains on the subway cars, the initiative will cover about 3,800 more cameras to be deployed in more than 120 subway stations.
Those cameras will be added to the present security network, which features more than 10,000 cameras in the city’s 472 subway stops.
The move comes as ridership is increasing in the system. On Sept. 9, the first day of school in New York City, ridership exceeded 3.6 million, the busiest day for the subways since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
Lieber noted crime in the subways has gone down nearly 10% from 2019. However, there have still been some high-profile incidents that have raised concerns. On April 12, a gunman shot up a Brooklyn subway station. No one was killed, but nearly 30 people were injured, including 10 hit by gunfire.
New York City Transit President Richard Davey said the cameras won’t just help stop crimes from occurring in the cars.
“It’s been proven time and time again that cameras in the transit system help fight crime throughout the whole city, not just on the subway,” Davey said. “Expanding the camera network will serve to deter those who are intent on committing a crime from entering the transit system.”
Besides helping to solve crimes, Hochul believes the cameras will create peace of mind for many New Yorkers.
“Parents will be feeling more secure about putting their kids on the trains to go to schools,” she said. “Senior citizens will be less apprehensive about taking the train to their doctor’s appointments, and New Yorkers can just have a calm way to get on their way off to their jobs.”