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MTA, in ad campaign, says 'hate has no place' on its rail lines

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced an ad campaign

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced an ad campaign on thousands of digital screens throughout the system, including 300 on the LIRR, telling riders that "hate has no place on our railroad." Commuters seen here at the Jamaica train station in August 2018. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A new MTA ad campaign aims to address a rise in hate crimes throughout the public transportation system, including its Long Island Rail Road stations.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced the ad campaign at an event at Grand Central Terminal Monday, commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day. The effort will include messages on thousands of digital screens throughout the MTA system —including 300 on the LIRR, telling riders that “hate has no place on our railroad.”

“Working alongside the MTA Police Department, we want to make sure our customers have a ride that is free from hate,” said Rod Brooks, LIRR's senior vice president of operations, who added that the railroad “has zero tolerance for bias-motivated threats or harassment onboard our trains or in our stations.”

The MTA Police investigated 18 hate crimes throughout the LIRR in 2019, a slight increase from 16 reported incidents in 2018, according to the department’s stats, which include crimes ranging from criminal mischief —like graffiti— to felony assault.

Meanwhile, on New York City buses and subways, The NYPD Transit Bureau investigated 75 hate crimes in 2019, an increase of 42% from 53 incidents 2018.

The new ads, which feature LIRR station signs bearing messages including “respect” and “kindness,” also provide contact information to report hate crimes, including the email tips@mtahq.org.

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