Tomorrow morning, 478 station agents will not show up for work. In a move that will save $21 million and is part of the MTA’s overall efforts at cutting costs, these station agents are being let go, but it seems the union tried to save them. According to Heather Haddon of amNew York, labor leaders asked Albany for an eleventh hour bailout today, but state officials have so far failed to act. With Albany deadlocked over a budget, I wouldn’t expect any money to come the MTA’s way to avoid firings of service cuts.
Meanwhile, the Haddon article supposedly highlights how, anecdotally at least, crime is on the rise underground, but the accompanying photo is an absurd one of an elderly station agent. I don’t think any potential criminal would be deterred by his presence, and both the MTA and NYPD say that crime is holding steady underground as compared with the overall crime rate in the city. The biggest issue may be fare jumping, but the MTA has not committed to replacing turnstiles with the HEETs at those entrances losing their station agents.