MTA: Subway protests over fare evasion cost taxpayers $100K

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NEW YORK (AP) - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that damage from protests in New York last week cost taxpayers $100,000.

The agency responded to protests on Thursday, saying while they respect freedom of speech, demonstrators caused significant damage.

The MTA faced a flurry of protests last week across dozens of its stations in the city's five boroughs over the heavy presence of police and the city's crack down on fare evasion.

“What we had that day was a lot of cases of vandalism which unfortunately took a lot of our team, took a lot of our focus away from our normal repairs and improvements that we could have been making for customers,” said Senior Vice President for Subways Sally Librera.

She added, "Instead we were working through the system to correct a lot of damage that occurred."

New York police are still searching for people who were caught on camera using a hammer to smash property as well as those responsible for pouring glue into MetroCard readers.

Many of the demonstrators had planned their protests for weeks on social media and unfurled banners and signs in Brooklyn and at the World Trade Center Oculus promoting their plans. The signs urged transit officials to remove officers from the subways and provide free transit to residents.

"If we were not to charge fares we would have to come up with billions of dollars of revenue in order to support the system," Librera said

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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