MTA Boosts Employee Protection Program

The MTA has launched an ad campaign promoting a new program that offers rewards of up to $2,000 to transit riders or others who offer details to police after witnessing a crime against a transit employee.

The program, known as Transit Watch, was announced this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in the weeks after a joint conference convened by the MTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 100 to address an increase in the number of assaults on MTA personnel.

"Thousands of men and women work on the front lines of the MTA system every day to make sure millions of people can get to work safely," said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. "We need to ensure they stay safe as well. Transit Watch puts criminals on notice that if they assault a bus or subway employee, everyone who sees it happen is going to help put them in jail."

Customers who see a crime take place are asked to call the NYPD's CrimeStoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are kept strictly confidential, and you need not provide your name.

"Assaults on transit workers are on the rise, and the MTA is committed to making them stop," said Thomas F. Prendergast, President, MTA New York City Transit. "An attack on any one of our workers is an attack on all of us, and we share the goal of protecting our employees as they put their lives on the line every day."

TransitWatch falls under a national program administered by the Federal Transit Administration. It is made possible locally by the New York City Police Foundation, which supports innovative NYPD programs like Crime Stoppers.

Assaulting an MTA employee is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.