Gerard Bringmann, Chair of the LIRR Commuter Council and MTA Board Member, said:
“We were horrified by the attack on the two LIRR conductors last week, discussed in greater detail at today’s Committee Meeting, and are glad to hear that they are recovering at home. Unfortunately, the next time may not have as good an outcome. Thanks to the decisive actions of the MTAPD, the perpetrator was quickly apprehended; unfortunately, he was quickly released, despite the severity of the crime. That does not send a good message to the men and women who work aboard our railroads, and also sends a signal that this type of behavior isn’t taken seriously. As Albany discusses reforms, we ask that they consider these types of situations. Assaults on transit workers, regardless of what part of the transportation system they work in or on, cannot and should not be tolerated. Banning those who commit violent and heinous crimes in the system is an important tool, and we must expand its use.
“The conductors and collectors who come in contact with riders on a daily basis have firsthand knowledge of what works, what doesn’t, and what needs improvement. That applies to fares and fare collection, policies for battery-operated devices, enforcement and evasion, and their experience needs to be taken into serious consideration as decisions are made regarding fare policy and ways to improve interactions with riders. Asking those who know best is truly the best way to take advantage of years of on-the-job experience and reduce the chance of harm to our workforce, while improving the experience for riders and everyone on board.”