Former NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Says Keep Station Agents in Subway Booths for the Safety and Security of Riders

Former NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox – now a security expert at a global firm – agrees with us. We reached out to him, and he also thinks this staff reduction is a bad idea. He provided this statement to Transport Workers Union Local 100, and we are using it in our campaign:

“The more eyes and ears in in the subway system the better. There is a good and important working relationship between officers of the NYPD Transit Bureau and their MTA partners, including Train Operators, Conductors and for sure, Station Agents. That relationship and their presence in the system enhances public safety.”

Fox is Chief of Staff of Silverseal, a security and consulting firm based in NYC and London. He was the NYPD Transit Bureau Chief from 2011 to 2018.

As TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said in an Op-Ed published recently in the New York Daily News: “Reducing station staffing would be a bad idea during the best of times. It’s a horrendous and dangerous idea today.”

Station Agents currently are replaced by “lunch relief” agents in the booths when they go on their 30-minute meal breaks so there is continuous service. The MTA wants to end this practice and have agents leave their booths unstaffed during these breaks. There are more than 470 booths in the system – each would be closed for 90 minutes a day under this plan. (Once each during the three shifts). That’s a security and service cut amounting to nearly 5,000 hours a week.

TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano urged the MTA board to keep subway station booths staffed all the time. “Reducing staffing in stations would be a bad idea in the best of times. It’s a horrendous idea today.”