MTA chief Andy Byford spoke out last week about how homeless people and panhandlers are affecting the subway experience for commuters. Byford indicated that he wanted to see MTA rules more vigorously enforced, including police involvement, to restore order in the system. When homeless advocates accused him of insensitivity, however, he backpedaled. Byford was right the first time: the subways can’t be makeshift shelters for the homeless.
The Facts You Need to Know
Sleep: Nearly half of the city’s unsheltered homeless population seeks nighttime refuge in the subways. Read more.
Care: Mayor de Blasio says that the subway system is not his responsibility, and he appears untroubled about homeless people using train cars as shelters. Read more.
Sick: The de Blasio administration has minimized funding for the treatment of the seriously mentally ill, resulting in increasing numbers of troubled people wandering the city. Read more.
“Byford seems torn between his genuine desire to deliver cleaner, more inviting subway stations for New Yorkers and his aversion to making the hard choices necessary for that to happen.”
The Past is Present
“I was on my way to interview Peter Flanigan, an investment banker active in the new School Choice Scholarships program, which helps low-income parents in the city pay tuition for their children at Catholic and other private schools. I had been checking my tape recorder to make sure it was working, and realized that I should leave it running.”
And in other news...
“A child from New York City has died of the flu, health officials announced on Thursday, marking the first pediatric flu-related death of the season.”