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MTA adding LED lighting in 4 subway stations to improve conditions

MTA adds LED lighting in 4 subway stations to improve conditions
MTA adds LED lighting in 4 subway stations to improve conditions 02:12

NEW YORK -- New lighting is being installed at subway stations to make it brighter underground. The initiative comes as safety is at the forefront of both riders' and workers' minds.

On Monday night, an MTA conductor went to the hospital after an attack.

CBS New York learned more Tuesday about the new safety measures.

READ MORESubway crime up 22% vs. this time last year, NYPD says

Down in the Lafayette Avenue station in Brooklyn, fluorescent light fixtures have been swapped out for LED lighting.

"Your platforms, mezzanines, and staircases will now be lighter and brighter, and that will give a sense of comfort that our system is more safe," said Demetrius Crichlow, senior VP of NYC Transit Department of Subways. "Our hundreds of thousands of cameras that we have throughout the stations will be able to get better images when things happen."

Some riders said they noticed.

"I can see more people. I'm more aware of my surroundings," Anthony Ganan said.

"It makes me feel better," another said.

Others said they think the bright idea is debatable.

"I guess I haven't really noticed it that much. I kind of just go through," one person said.

"There are way better ways to spend budget funds than changing lights that currently work when we have other things that don't," Stephen Edwards said.

The MTA estimates the switch will save about $6 million.

So far, three stations have the LED lights and the MTA is currently working on a fourth. The goal for completion in all stations is in 2026.

Meanwhile, when it comes to subway safety, the CBS New York Investigates Team has analyzed data from the last few years. Compared to 2018, the assault rate in the subway system has nearly doubled, but it has been trending down since 2021.

And while the assault rate in the system has risen, it's still lower than in similar cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

Noreen Mallory, a 58-year-old MTA customer service agent, has a fracture to her eye socket after being attacked last Wednesday at the Wall Street subway station. She said she was checking under a bench on the platform and noticed a man.

"I asked him if he was okay, but he was immediately ... like, he was mumbling. Like, I didn't know what he was saying," Mallory said. "And so I started to walk away, going to report it, and he followed me down the platform and then, as you see, punched me. The issue of safety has to be made a priority."

Transport Workers Union Local 100 is urging union members to remain vigilant and is asking the MTA and city leadership for a sit-down about safety.

"We've tried to play nice in the sandbox, but we got too much sand thrown in our face. So now we coming," VP Robert Kelly said.

TWU Local 100 is looking for the good Samaritans who helped Mallory and watched over the suspect until police arrived.

The suspect was arrested.

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