Subway riders dismiss NYC plan to wake snoozing passengers

2016-02-05 16:42
A sign pointing to the New York subway. (Spencer Platt, AFP)

A sign pointing to the New York subway. (Spencer Platt, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York – Even in the city that never sleeps, it's common to see New Yorkers doze off on the subway. But New York City's police commissioner is instructing police officers to wake passengers in an effort to keep them safe.

More than half of all subway crime in the past year involved a sleeping victim. But the new plan isn't welcome with some passengers.

"Who does it hurt?" asked John Fernandez, 26, who occasionally catches a quick nap during his 40 minute subway commute. "Sometimes you just want to close your eyes."

The city's rules for the 24-hour subway system do not prohibit someone from sleeping on the train unless they take up more than one seat or cause a disturbance.

But Police Commissioner William Bratton insists that "subways are not for sleeping."

"If you are sleeping on the subway, you make yourself a very easy victim," he said.

A recent series of slashings and stabbings in the city has drawn attention to subway safety.

The idea to nudge passengers awake is not new. Transit officers in 2012 noticed a spike in subway-related thefts and went car-to-car on the late shifts.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio backed the new plan.

"Almost six million people take the subway, and there are approximately six or seven crimes committed in the subway each day," he said in a radio interview on Thursday. "And most of those are property theft."

Homeless advocates questioned whether the initiative is just a way for police to hassle people who use the warm trains for shelter.

"I've slept on the trains, and they're already targeting homeless people," said Damian Mitchell, a member of Picture the Homeless, an advocacy group. "But now it's about to get a whole lot worse."

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.