Rep. Meng, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg talk NYC transit crime during roundtable discussion

(Left to right) MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez (photo courtesy of Grace Meng’s office).

Rep. Grace Meng held a roundtable with United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to address crime on New York City’s public transit systems Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the United States Department of Transportation’s New York City office. Among those who also took part in the roundtable were Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez and MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber, along with representatives from several local organizations.

Congresswoman Meng speaks during the roundtable discussion. (Photo courtesy of Meng’s office)

The roundtable featured discussions on this crime problem and the efforts being taken to try combating it. Leaders from Asian American advocacy organizations highlighted the ongoing hate and violence that their community has endured on mass transit in New York City in recent years. This reflects the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans across New York City as well as the rest of the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meng outlined some high-profile violent crimes that have occurred this year at train or subway stations in New York City. This included the mass shooting at a Brooklyn subway station in April and the death of Michelle Go in January after she was pushed onto the subway tracks.

“Reports of attacks on New York City’s trains and buses have rattled New Yorkers and continues to leave them fearful as they navigate our transit system,” Meng said. “This violence is completely unacceptable and it is particularly damaging in our public transit spaces. All New Yorkers deserve to have peace of mind when using public transportation to go to work, school or when traveling to see family and friends. Combating these crimes must continue to be a top priority at all levels of government. We will not tolerate or accept these threats to public safety.”

According to data collected by the NYPD, there were a total of 375 criminal complaints in transit jurisdiction filed across the city in September 2022. There were an additional 49 criminal complaints that took place on buses over that same period of time.

In total, 3,534 criminal complaints in transit jurisdiction have been made from January to September this year. This represents a sharp increase from the same time last year, where 2,756 such complaints were filed.

“We must never take a backseat to safety and do all we can to keep people out of harm’s way,” Meng said. “I thank Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Fernandez for coming to New York City to address this urgent concern and I thank MTA Chairman and CEO Lieber for taking part in this crucial discussion.”