Utano Stands with Mayor to Support his Safety Plan



IB Image

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 -- TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano endorsed Mayor Adams’ Subway Safety Plan, which includes a renewed focus on enforcing Transit Rules of Conduct, reducing the homeless population in the subway – and partnering with Local 100.

The plan, crafted in part with input from Local 100, calls for “a new and ongoing engagement with transit workers” to make the system safer for both riders and workers. There will be a Safety Summit, for example, with the union, the NYPD, and the MTA to further advance the goal of improving the subway environment. Local 100 also has been given a seat on the “Enhanced Outreach Taskforce,” which will meet weekly and have representatives from 12 NYC agencies and the MTA.

Utano and his chief of staff, MaBSTOA Vice President Richie Davis, stood with Governor Hochul, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Deputy Mayor Anne Williams Isom, and MTA Chairman Janno Lieber as Mayor Adams addressed at least three dozen members of the media for the announcement at the Fulton Transit Center.

Utano praised both Adams and Hochul, who pledged more funding for psychiatric hospital beds and other support, for “recognizing subway riders and workers do not feel safe enough riding the system and working in the system. They are not burying their heads in the sand and pretending everything is wonderful.”

President Utano also made an emotional reference to Train Operator Garrett Goble when talking about the need to enforce the shopping cart ban in the system. Goble was fatally overcome by smoke when an unhinged individual set fire to a shopping cart on his train in Harlem in March 2020. The senseless act stole Goble away from his wife and two sons, one just an infant at the time of the crime, Utano said.

These shopping carts are a big issue,” Utano said. “This is very important to TWU.”

TWU Local 100 already has raised the subject of Bus Operator safety with the Adams’ administration and will be discussing next steps in the near future.

Here is the section of the Subway Plan focusing on transit workers:

New and ongoing engagement of transit workers.

As all levels of government work together to make our subways safe, our transit workers on the ground – including train operators, conductors, dispatchers, and station agents – must have a critical voice in the conversation. These workers are essential to the success of our subway system and our city, and we must prioritize their safety as well as the safety of the riders who enter our stations.

They often see trouble, or the potential for trouble, before law enforcement – and will alert authorities from their train operator and conductor cabs, station agent booths, and platform posts. In coordination with the MTA and TWU Local 100, we will engage transit workers regularly, ensure they are being utilized to their fullest potential, and provide the equipment and resources they need.