Service + Solidarity Spotlight: TWU, ATU Call for Action to Halt Increasing Violence on Public Transportation

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Last week’s shooting on a New York City subway train was the latest in a growing number of violent incidents to take place in America’s public transportation systems. Five members (pictured above) of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 received commendations from New York Mayor Eric Adams in recognition of their brave response to the subway shooting. In the wake of this incident, America’s transportation unions are reiterating their call for comprehensive staffing levels and increased safety measures.

Local 100, which represents workers in New York’s subways, said, “This latest emergency illustrates again why we need station agents, and fully staffed trains with both a conductor and a train operator on board, to assist with evacuations and communications.” TWU International President John Samuelsen (not pictured) added: “The conductors proved heroic in the evacuation of the system. It wouldn’t have happened without the train crews.”

Unlike violent incidents that take place onboard airplanes, the federal government does not track violence on public transit. “For years they have just been sweeping it under the rug and hiding it,” Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) President John Costa (not pictured) told NewsNation. “I saw one of my operators get stabbed seven times and they called it a simple assault. You stabbed me seven times and that is not attempted murder? We had to go fight that.”