NYC subway rider system describes deterioration amidst a wave of crime

Like many other straphangers, Pamela feels a growing concern about taking the Dayton subway.

The 62-year-old actress, who lives in Hudson Heights, rides a train and relies on Manhattan’s 181st Street station, where an insane Rigoberto Lopez allegedly stabbed two straphangers last weekend.. Authorities said they killed two other people, who were discovered at the opposite end of the line.

The latest violent attack – on a 19-year-old man who was punched in the face at a Columbus Circle A train stop on Friday – reminds of the danger Dayton and others are just getting around the city.

She tells The Post what it is like for her to ride the rail in 2021:

I have been taking the A train from my Upper Manhattan neighborhood town for 21 years, and I have always felt safe on the metro. In recent months, this has changed.

Even before the murder last weekend at the 207th Street station – which took place just one stop from my regular station at 181 Street – my neighbors and I were frightened by drug users and mentally disturbed those who had recently Has infiltrated the metro.

Station closed as a result of criminal investigation.  At the corner of Broadway and W. 181st.
Two dead and two were injured last weekend due to a speeding run at a train station on 181st Street in the west.
Robert Miller for NY Post

We were sad to see that the problems we had noticed for months came to a violent end that ended the lives of two New Yorkers and undoubtedly greatly scared our public transportation system.

Rigoberto Lopez
Rigoberto Lopez, the alleged “A-Train Ripper”

I am an actress, and when work is at a standstill, I regularly take the train to Midtown. Now, I ride the metro three times a week.

In recent months, at 181st Street Station, I have seen people shooting, panhandles have become untimely aggressive and people sleeping on benches or ladders are the norm. Hypodermic needles litter the tracks.

These are not problems due to the epidemic, but COVID has bare them for all to see.

While unwanted riders have started increasing in number since the epidemic began, bypasses have evacuated the police and most other passengers, meaning you often feel left out for yourself.

A person on the platform at 182nd Street A Train Metro Station.
A person on the platform at 181st Street A Train Metro Station.
JCRice for NY Post

This week, in the wake of the stabbing, online neighborhood chat forums were lit up at 181st Street with requests to add another MTA agent. People just want an extra pair of eyes.

I have grown accustomed to putting my guard on the train. I no longer listen to headphones, I avoid taking the subway after dark, and I see everyone who gets close to my car.

One of the most frightening encounters occurred to me when I was alone on a car.

Pam Dawton
Pamela lives in Dayton Hudson Heights and catches the A train at 181 Street.
JCRice for NY Post

I was using a cane at the time and was feeling insecure. A layering man was sitting next to me. When I got to the second seat, he too left, and when my 42nd street stop finally came, he tried to stop me from getting out and asked where I was going.

Other passengers who eventually rode, seemed oblivious, or pretended to be.

It is clear to me and many of my neighbors that we need more police on the platforms – not taking into account the turnstiles or road entrances – before anyone else gets hurt.

Public transportation is one of only New Yorker’s connections to our pre-COVID lives, and it is worrying that this, too, is deteriorating.

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