Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is the Metro Editor for WNYC News. She has previously served as Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Some 48 employees have been assaulted on the job this year, compared to 40 in the same period last year.
Assaults on transit workers have become a key issue for the Transport Workers Union, still negotiating a new contract with the MTA. The old contract expired January 15th. World of the new program, called "Transit Watch," came via press release from New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
This is the second move in less than a month to combat assaults on transit workers. The first was a ban on drinking on certain Long Island Railroad trains.
"This is a big win for transit workers, who face physical assaults, verbal abuse and threats every day on the job, and who have long felt that transit assaults are given a low priority," said TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen in the press release.
According to the release, "Transit Watch is funded by the MTA. Witnesses with information about assaults on MTA New York City Transit personnel can call the NYPD’s Crimestoppers program at 800-577-TIPS (800-577-8477), which assigns callers an anonymous ID number so they do not have to give their names. Rewards of up to $2,000 are paid for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the perpetrator."