subway in Manhattan

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MTA Board To Vote On Resolution To Ban Repeat Transit Criminals From Riding

June 25, 2019 - 8:22 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Repeat transit criminals may soon get the boot from subways and buses in an effort to make the system safer.

A new resolution is aimed at career criminals, people who know they have easy targets in riders that are trapped on a subway car for a few minutes at a time.

Under the measure, they would be banned from getting on subways, buses and trains.

Board members in favor of it say the transit system has to be treated differently because it is a contained environment, but others have raised some concerns.

Board member David Jones wants to make sure this only affects those repeat offenders.

“We have to remain very careful that we narrowly define what we are doing here, so we don't end up penalizing somebody who makes a mistake and is not serial,” Jones said, “but then you have them banned from the system for years, which means that they basically can never work at all if they decide to go straight.”

It’s unclear on how the measure would be enforced or who would be classified as a repeat offender.

The full MTA board is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday and it’s up to lawmakers in Albany to put the law on the books.

They aren’t scheduled to meet again until next year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he fully supports the resolution. "This is a common sense issue, and the New York State Legislature and criminal justice system have a responsibility to work with the MTA to ensure these perpetrators  -  who repeatedly target victims on our subways and buses - cannot continue this abhorrent behavior," he said in a statement. "I thank the members of the MTA Board for their support of this important resolution, and call on our state legislative leaders and the courts to enact the strictest penalties possible so that every rider and worker remains safe in our transit system."