When’s the last time you saw a transit officer on a train or bus?
A month, you say, sir? A year, ma’am? Ok, you in the back. What’s a transit officer?
That’s amazing, because according to the MTA, the number of transit officers is up 243 from a year ago, a growing percentage of them undercover “decoys.” Which brings up a number of questions. Where are they all hiding? Why is subway crime up by double digits this year? And who just swiped my iPhone?
Remember the MTA’s scolding Hide Your Valuables! campaign? If you dared wear a necklace or chain on the subway and someone ripped it off your neck, whose fault was that? The thief’s? The MTA and city for not providing proper security? Don’t make the MTA and Mayor Bloomberg laugh. It’s yours, silly!
Don’t Be a Target of Opportunity! warns the new MTA ads. Meanwhile Mayor Bloomberg talks of iPhone users “cavalier attitude”, daring to actually use their tech devices on trains and platforms, as the MTA continues to brag about offering wi-fi at more and more subway stations.
They put out press releases crowing how “riders can now maintain their digital lifestyles, connecting to the Internet with smartphones, e-readers and other wireless devices.” I don’t know about you, but I never considered hiding my iPhone like a paranoid as I suspiciously eye my fellow riders part of my “digital lifestyle.”
By all means, says the MTA, use your tech devices on the subway__as long as they somehow aren’t visible. And if some criminal rips you off on the subway, don’t come crying to them!
Just be thankful you don’t ride the bus. Not only is tech device theft even worse than on the subways, but a high percentage of riders don’t even bother paying.
Approximately 20% of riders in Staten Island don’t pay their fares, and the numbers in the other four boroughs are almost as bad.
Fare evasion on buses and trains deprives the MTA of about $100 million in revenue each year. If the MTA made people pay their fare, all of the recent severe bus and subway service cuts could have been avoided.
“Those of us who pay our way shouldn’t have to suffer painful service reductions so that scofflaws can ride for free,” said NYC councilman James Vacca.
Ok decoys, you can come out now!
(Review: Homeland–click on Arts page)