NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At least two dozen subway cars have been vandalized with graffiti.

The NYPD is now searching for the vandals, who managed to get away with the huge paint jobs, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Thursday.

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It was a busy weekend for graffiti artists elaborately painting on subway trains.

Rider Francisco Otero said he’s fed up.

“It’s not fair for the people. They make the place ugly,” Otero said.

Sometime during the overnight hours, 24 subway cars, being stored in lay-over tunnels, were painted with graffiti, including cars from the Q, G, M, 1, and 6 lines and the 42nd Street Shuttle, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

They clearly weren’t simple tags, either.

Otero said he wants to know how the vandals can paint for hours without getting caught by police.

“They’re not doing nothing about it. That’s the problem,” he said.

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The MTA says 83% of the subway graffiti hits have been in underground tunnels, where trains are laid up overnight or on in-service trains, both areas policed by the NYPD, Sanchez reported.

The NYPD says year to date, as of Nov. 22, there have been 490 graffiti incidents across the entire transit system, compared to 554 during the same time period last year. That’s a 12% decrease.

The MTA says only about 17% of the graffiti incidents happen in train yards secured by the transit authority, which says it has, “a zero-tolerance policy for vandalism, which takes valuable time, resources and taxpayer dollars away from the system at a time when the MTA is facing the worst financial crisis in its history.”

“There’s ways we can help them. I think a lot of this is obviously about the train yards. If there is anything we can do to help them secure those yards better, absolutely, that will be something that we’ll focus on,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.


The MTA says it costs thousands of dollars to remove the graffiti. Riders are worried they could foot the bill, in the long run, through higher fares.

“We’re already going through a pandemic, which is making it harder for people to pay the fare,” one rider said.

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A painter’s canvas is breaking the law, and the MTA’s coffers.