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Sharp drop in rule-breaking riders tossed off subway


amny Credit: Getty Images

Straphangers are either better behaved or authorities are doing a lousy job at catching scofflaws.

A review by amNewYork of NYPD crime data shows that cops are kicking out far fewer trouble makers in the transit system this year than they did in the past, not a surprise to some riders who say they have seen an increase in unruly straphangers.

"It's a problem late at night. Recently there was a man speaking loud getting close to people. You can tell he was inebriated and that makes you feel unsafe," said Amanda Rose, 22, of Fort Greene.

Ejections totaled 668 in March, down a whopping 75 percent from 2,676 in March 2010, the data show. In the first three months of 2011 compared to 2010, the number of riders being booted out of the subways dropped 66 percent, 7,794 to 2,631.

Riders can get ejected for anything from lying down to panhandling.

"I've seen people fighting, it's a mad house sometimes and you wonder where the cops are," said one midtown woman in her 20s, who didn't want to be named.

While authorities would not speculate why there are fewer people being kicked out of the subways, the transit union yesterday said the loss of station agents is a "critical factor."

"Passengers in stations without an agent really have nowhere to complain other than the emergency call (boxes) that most people don't even realize is there," said Jim Gannon, a spokesman for the Transit Workers Union 100.

The union said the MTA has about 480 fewer agents than a year ago.

An MTA spokesman declined to speculate on the ejection numbers. The NYPD was unable to say why officers are booting fewer riders, even as they cuff more crooks. Transit arrests are up, and increased nearly 8 percent from 2009 to 2010.



Reasons people are ejected:

- Jumping a turnstile
- Panhandling or begging
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking, even at outdoor stations
- Carrying a bulky item that inconveniences others
- Playing a radio audible to others
- Creating graffiti or scratchiti on a bus or train



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