Mayor Eric Adams admitted Tuesday that even he doesn’t feel safe riding the city’s subways.
“Day one, Jan. 1, when I took the train, I saw the homelessness, the yelling, the screaming early in the morning,” said Adams, who entered office at the start of the year, during a press conference. “Crimes right outside the platform.
“We know we have a job to do, and we’re going to do both: We’re going to drive down crime, and we’re going to make sure New Yorkers feel safe in our subway system,” he said. “And they don’t feel that way now. I don’t feel that way when I take the train.”
Adams’ stunning admission comes on the heels of his controversial comments just days ago that the tubes are safe — and that there’s only a “perception” that they’re not after Saturday’s random fatal shove of a straphanger at the Times Square station.
As The Post reported Monday, new NYPD statistics show an ongoing spike in Big Apple transit violence, including during the first two weeks of Adams’ administration.
On Tuesday, Adams seemed to finally wise up and acknowledge straphangers’ fears.
“Our system must be safe,” he said at City Hall. “It must be safe from actual crime, which we are going to do. And it must be safe for those who feel as if there’s a total level of disorder in our subway system.”
Speaking later in The Bronx, Adams said he continues to ride the trains but that “one crime on the subway system is one crime too many.
“We have to deal with the crime. But on Day One [in office], I took the subway system. I felt unsafe. I saw homeless everywhere, yelling on the train. There was a feeling of disorder.
“We also have to deal with the fact that people feel unsafe. That’s the dual battle that I have, because If we don’t do them both together, then we fail.
“I’m going to deal with the crime, but I’m also going to make people feel safe in the system,” he said. “And that was the comment that I made.”
Acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said he’s happy the mayor gets it.
“I think Mayor Adams is showing that he gets it,” Lieber said Tuesday. “He gets how New Yorkers are feeling.
“And the mayor is showing he gets it and that he is sensitive to the way New Yorkers are feeling — that people don’t feel based on statistics, they feel based on their personal experience and what they’re hearing and this extremely upsetting episode that happened … it cannot happen,” Lieber said.
The Saturday morning shoving death of Michelle Go at the Times Square station has revived long-standing concerns over transit safety.
Police said homeless ex-con Martial Simon, 61, pushed the 40-year-old straphanger into the path of a train around 9:40 a.m. Saturday, killing her.
“The mayor’s not saying anything that riders don’t know and acknowledging there’s a problem is the first step to helping solving it,” Lisa Daglian, head of the MTA’s Permanent Citizen Advisory Committee, said Tuesday.
“Perception is reality, and the reality is that people are afraid,” she said. “Every New Yorker’s worst nightmare is getting pushed in front of a subway — and we’ve seen it happen too many times.”
Straphangers on the same Times Square platform where Go was pushed to her death said Tuesday that their fears are very real.
“I really don’t feel safe riding the subway any time,” said 15-year-old Angela Lin of Queens. “I was a bit worried because something like that can happen to me. I’m definitely more cautious.”
Melanie Fong, 23, said she’s changed her habits — and now makes it a point not to stand near the edge of the platform.
“I used to stand there but not anymore,” Fong said. “For sure it’s not safe in the subway system. People get crazy about Asian people.”
Long Island resident Peg Gonzalez said the fear is “constant.
“Mental illness is a big issue. It’s not perception,” said Gonzalez, 45. “I think for regular people it’s fear. It’s constant.
“We just need more safety down here,” she added. “People come in and they need to go to work. To be able to go to work people need to feel safe.”