In more signs of the times, and perhaps further evidence the city has reached its "expiration date" amid both the Covid-induced economic slowdown and exploding crime, the New York City subway has seen windows smashed by the hundreds in recent weeks and months.
The MTA has counted more than 400 smashed and destroyed windows over the course of the summer and has documented at least 63 train cars which were attacked with a bat, hammer, pole, or pipe by one or more serial vandals. It's to the point that service itself on some lines are now under threat.
The financially strapped MTA doesn't appear to have an answer either, other than to observe the past trend that suggests economic decay above often results in an uptick in both vandalism and graffiti on the trains below.
"Vandalized subway trains have in the past been associated with a period of financial hardship in New York City that was marked by increased violence and crime," The New York Times notes, as the MTA now has to deal with $300,000 in repairs at a moment it's facing a $16 billion deficit, partly brought on by the pandemic crisis.
“We’re not exactly flush with cash right now,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority official Patrick Warren said. “Every dollar matters.”
The trend of smashed windows appeared to rise alongside the tidal wave of unemployment during the pandemic shutdowns.
The NYT details:
Transportation officials in New York City first began seeing broken windows on subway cars, mostly on the 2, 3 and 7 lines, in April. On one day in mid-July, nearly 50 windows across three 7 trains were smashed. Then this week, the problem seemed to have intensified again: about 60 windows on several 7 trains were found shattered with what officials said was a “blunt instrument.”
And authorities are still unclear on if it's one vandal, a group of people, or various random incidents; however, there's video footage of at least one prime suspect.
New York City police are searching for a man who allegedly smashed dozens of subway windows across the city in the span of three months. https://t.co/cb1HvB5gTV— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) August 5, 2020
The MTA says it's literally running out of window replacements, and has had to temporarily decommission dozens of subway cars, while police are searching for a man considered mainly responsible for the 3-month long spree, given he's been witnessed carrying a hammer.