De Blasio hits back at Cuomo over NYC subway safety

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday insisted New York City’s subways are safe — taking a dig at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for suggesting he wouldn’t let his kids ride and accusing his rival of denigrating the NYPD.

“Leaders are supposed to help people move forward and tell them when something is actually working,” de Blasio said when asked to respond to multiple rants by Cuomo this week about the abysmal conditions underground.

“As a real New Yorker, who lives in the city, has taken the subway all my life, I wouldn’t hesitate at all to take the subway,” the mayor said in response to Cuomo, who on Monday suggested he wouldn’t let his own children ride the rails due to crime.

“My children take the subway all the time. If you said to one of my kids, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t go on the subway, it’s not safe,’ they would laugh you out of the room,” the mayor said Thursday.

“They would tell you you clearly couldn’t be a real New Yorker because they couldn’t think of life without taking the subway.”

He added: “Let’s get real. Let’s tell people it’s safe because it is safe, and it’s part of our recovery.”

De Blasio’s remarks come after Cuomo’s successive comments on the issue on Monday and Wednesday. The governor accused the city of allowing trains to deteriorate into a rolling homeless shelter and insisted many New Yorkers won’t return to mass transit after the pandemic because they are “afraid.”

Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, the NYPD’s top transit cop, previously accused MTA leaders of “fearmongering” by publicizing concerns about crime and harassment.

The subways saw felony crimes drop 12 percent from February to March, after de Blasio surged 644 new cops into the subways at the MTA’s behest.

But the crime rate remains significantly higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Several people were attacked in the system overnight Thursday, including an off-duty conductor stabbed with an ice pick.

“I think [Chief O’Reilly’s] frustration is very real, as a life-long public safety professional, hearing the governor and hearing the leadership of the MTA putting down the work of the men and women of the NYPD who are actually getting the job done,” de Blasio said Thursday.

“We put more officers in the subway. It’s had a very positive effect. The NYPD’s made clear that they’ll make adjustments whenever needed,” he said.

“Let’s believe in our city, let’s believe in the NYPD, let’s believe we can move forward. To me, that’s what leaders should be talking about — how to move forward.”

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