In recent weeks, the future of the subway system has come to seem less of a fiscal question than a public safety one. The MTA got its bailout. But disorder underground, which polls show weigh heavily on commuters’ minds, remains as unaddressed as ever, and just as bound up as ever with the city’s dysfunctional mental health system.
There was the series of stabbings, some fatal, in February. In March, Manhattan DA Cy Vance reported that annual subway pushings were on track to more than double over the already-elevated number witnessed last year, despite still-low ridership levels. Subway felony assaults are also up over last year’s mark; this Wednesday, riders were treated to mental illness-related service disruptions on the D, N and J lines.
Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal. Carolyn Gorman is a policy analyst and former board member of Mental Illness Policy Org.
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