Spree of smashed glass on the No. 7 line

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY CLAYTON GUSE

MTA of­fi­cials are con­cerned over a spree of bro­ken win­dows on the No. 7 line in re­cent months.

Tran­sit heads on Mon­day said crews found 32 dif­fer­ent win­dows bro­ken on trains that rolled into the line’s ter­mi­nals in Man­hat­tan and Flush­ing, Queens, be­tween May 1 and June 28.

That’s a dras­tic in­crease from the two bro­ken win­dows crews found on the line dur­ing the same pe­riod last year — de­spite sub­way rid­er­ship fall­ing by more than 90% due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

“This van­dal­ism is un­ac­cept­able and steals valu­able time and re­sources away from crit­i­cal projects and other needed state of good re­pair ini­tia­tives,” said NYC Tran­sit

Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of Sub­ways Sally Li­br­era. “We’re work­ing closely with the NYPD to in­ves­ti­gate this spate of crim­i­nal­ity so we can hold those who are re­spon­si­ble ac­count­able to the fullest ex­tent of the law.”

The bulk of the win­dows that were bro­ken were on sub­way car doors, of­fi­cials said. But van­dals also smashed win­dows in con­duc­tor cabs and on the sides of trains.

The vast ma­jor­ity of the bro­ken win­dows re­ported in May and June took place since wide­spread protests be­gan in the city in the af­ter­math of the May 25 killing of Ge­orge Floyd by a Min­neapo­lis po­lice of­fi­cer. Twenty-four acts of van­dal­ism took place af­ter May 29, of­fi­cials said.

Sub­way car win­dows do not break as eas­ily as con­ven­tional glass win­dows. They’re made of thicker, lam­i­nated glass that’s de­signed to hold up over years as pas­sen­gers bump or lean on them.

An NYPD spokes­woman said the depart­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the van­dal­ism, but po­lice have made no ar­rests.

The spate of shat­tered glass is a part of a larger crime trend on the sub­ways this year.

Even as rid­er­ship has fallen by more than 4 mil­lion rides per day since mid-March, sub­way crime is still rel­a­tively flat — and has even ticked up in some cat­e­gories.

Data from the NYPD show that ma­jor felonies on the sub­way fell by just 4.4% dur­ing the first five months of 2020 com­pared with 2019. Dur­ing the same stretch, mur­ders, rob­beries and bur­glar­ies on the sub­way all in­creased.

The trend may have some­thing to do with fewer crowds on the sub­way that could de­ter crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. In late March, af­ter an ar­son­ist set an up­town No. 2 train in Man­hat­tan on fire, re­sult­ing in the death of a train op­er­a­tor, Metropoli­tan Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials sug­gested that the crim­i­nal may have had more space to start the fire be­cause the sys­tem was so empty.


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