NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The blame game over safety on the subway continues, and so does crime.
Just Monday night, two commuters fell victim to unprovoked attacks.READ MORE: Human Resources Commissioner Steven Banks Talks To CBS2 About NYC's Plan To Get Homeless Off Subways
As subway ridership continues to rise in New York City, so does fear.
“It was so dangerous. Everybody started screaming on the train,” said Shelly Nerine of Jamaica, Queens.
Nerine said just the other day she witnessed a homeless man attack another passenger, simply for sitting next to him.
“The guy got up and started punching him in his face,” Nerine said.
Police said a 23-year-old man was stabbed in an unprovoked attack while exiting a C train at the Kingston-Throop Avenues station in Brooklyn at around 6 p.m. on Monday.
In an unrelated attack two hours later on the platform of the 135th Street station in Harlem, another man was slashed in the face without reason, police said.READ MORE: NYC Adding 250 NYPD Officers To Subways As 24-Hour Service Resumes
All of it went down on the same day the mayor announced 250 more uniform officers would patrol the rails. The initial plan is to deploy them during peak hours, but some commuters say there are other time periods that need the coverage more.
“I think that it’s backwards,” Tanisha Bell said. “More police during the nighttime and evening hours.”
And, when it comes to the total number of NYPD officers patrolling the transit system, MTA officials say the mayor has been misleading. They allege 20% of the surge in police from February has already been withdrawn, and a spokesperson said the additional officers announced Monday, “… aren’t new officers at all, but just extra shifts and will not even be full time. This is irresponsible.”
On Tuesday, the mayor defended himself.
“It’s the largest police force in the subways in over 25 years, that’s my response. You know, the MTA has had vacancies in their police for now a year and a half that they haven’t filled. Why don’t they take care of their own house?” de Blasio said.
The months-long tug of war between the city and the MTA now has New Yorkers growing weary.
“Who is running the city?” wondered Jonathan Caldwell of the West Farms section of the Bronx.
“The subway system that millions of people rely on is practically falling apart in places, so clearly our government is dysfunctional. I wish they would get their act together,” added Richard Silverman of the Upper West Side.MORE NEWS: 3 Teens Charged In Manhattan Subway Attacks, Police Release Video Of New Suspect Believed To Be Group's Lookout
MTA officials said the agency plans on hiring 400 new officers by the summer.