WRITTEN BY JOHN MORREALE
In a recent upswing of subway crime, commuters in New York City’s subway system are getting ticketed during the wee hours of the morning as well as during off-hours in the middle of the day. However, these tickets are being handed out for reasons many would consider trivial.
In one such instance, Saint Francis College junior Carolann Falotico was ticketed for keeping her feet up on the edge of the seat on an empty subway car at 1:00 AM. Adding insult to injury, the cops that pulled her off the train even told the conductor to remain at the station which probably angered other early morning commuters.
According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Rules and Regulations, it is illegal to “Place one’s foot on the seat of a subway, bus, or platform bench; occupy more than one seat or place bags on an empty seat when doing so would interfere with transit operations or the comfort of other customers”.
After reading that, one might ask “how does putting a bag next to you on a seat interfere with operating a train?”
Commuters can also receive a ticket when using the emergency exit to leave the subway. Many are left asking how they can get a ticket just for leaving the subway. Even though the exit is designated for emergency situations, it is hard to expect hundreds of commuters, at rush hour, to cram into the three to four turnstiles provided.
According to the MTA, their website has compiled a list of all the mass transit rules. Regardless, finding this list is tedious and the rules themselves are far too long. Various rules from the site can also be seen throughout the mass transit system. Codes and guidelines are posted on platforms, train cars and buses for all commuters to see.
Saint Francis College senior (and regular commuter) Andrew Slips believes that the rules should be “enforced during the early morning and late afternoon rush hours.” What irritates him most is the fact that he has never seen a police officer “punish a homeless person for taking up two or three seats.”
Here’s a suggestion for both the New York Police Department and the Metropolitan Transit Authority: if you want to crack down on subway offenders, make sure the rules and regulations are clear and coherent for everybody to hear and see.