Mayor Eric Adams announced a new plan Friday to clean up the city’s subway system by cracking down on violating rules and preventing people from living on trains and at stations.
“No more smoking. No more drug use. No more sleep. No more barbecues in the subway system. No more just doing what you want,” he said.
“No. Those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard. Get on the system. Get off at your destination. That’s what this administration says.”
Adams said teams of outreach workers and NYPD cops will begin searching the subway next week to identify mentally ill and homeless people who need removal, and work to provide the treatment and housing they need.
“We know where they are. There is one case where a woman has been living under a ladder for months. It is unacceptable,” he said.
“This is disgusting and this is not what we are as a city.”
Adams also said that while the “vast majority” of homeless people are not dangerous, “we have to be honest about the numbers that are dangerous to themselves and others.”
The mayor cited an accident Thursday on the L train in Manhattan, in which a 22-year-old man was stabbed while dancing by an assailant believed to be homeless.
Adams, a former NYPD captain, also noted that it happened on a “train I rode as a transit officer.”
Adams said his plan would include increasing enforcement of the Kendra Act, a 1999 law that allows judges to order outpatient treatment for mental patients.
It was named after Kendra Webdale, who was fatally pushed into the tracks of an oncoming subway train earlier that year by a man with a long psychological history.
But Adams also said his plan was “not about arresting people” but about “catching a problem.”
“We will not be cruel,” he said.
“We are not saying that if you commit a foul, we will handcuff you. We want to correct the situation.”