The MTA has finally installed security cameras at all 472 subway stations in the Big Apple, The Post has learned — and transit officials believe the surveillance surge is helping drive down subway crime.
The last of the around 2,000 cameras installed by the transit authority since December 2020 at “over 200 stations” went in on Saturday at the Broadway station on the G line, the MTA said.
The MTA’s arsenal is split 30-70 between cameras officials can access centrally in real-time and cameras that are “locally recorded.”
Previously, just 200 stations had been equipped with cameras, MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren said in an interview.
“These cameras are not there to watch or invade in any way on the personal experience of our riders,” Warren said. “But if you are a criminal, and we know where a crime took place, we will be able to go to those recordings, find you, and deliver that image to the police so they can investigate.”
Warren said the extra cameras have proven essential for NYPD in capturing subway perps. While the rate of major felony crimes per million riders trended up from June and July to August, arrests by NYPD Transit cops jumped from 3,125 in July to 3,680 in August.
Arrest numbers for those months reflected significant increases from the same periods in 2020 — 16 and 29 percent.
“The number of arrests have dramatically increased. Part of that is directly attributable to cameras,” Warren told The Post. “You are not anonymous in the subway right now if you are out there trying to prey on our riders.”
The subways saw 2.19 major felony crimes per million riders in August, a spike from 1.78 in July and 1.77 in June, according to newly released NYPD data. The list of “major felonies” includes murder, rape, robbery, grand larceny, felony assault and burglary.
Subway crime has soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019, when NYPD recorded a comparatively scant 1.47 felonies per million riders.
The crime wave came amid record-low subway ridership, which has yet to fully recover. Subway ridership was decimated in the early days of the pandemic, to 10 percent pre-COVID levels, according to MTA figures. It has since rebounded to about 2.5 million trips per weekday — about 50 percent of what daily ridership was in 2019.
Warren said this year’s expansion of surveillance cameras in subway stations was made possible by technological improvements that made them cheaper and more reliable. The MTA has “tens of thousands” of other cameras, he said — everywhere from stations and trains to buses and bridges.
“We, together with our partners at the NYPD, are driven to deliver a safer, higher quality of life experience across the subway system,” Warren said. “These cameras are a big part of that, so people feel better about coming back to the system, which they should.”
The MTA has denied it uses facial recognition software in its subway cameras.