Manhattan workers warned not to use public transit. Is this the new normal?


New York City remains largely reopened after all of the COVID shutdowns and many people are returning to work in their offices rather than from home via Zoom calls and such. But that doesn’t mean that life has gone back to what it was in pre-pandemic days. While the threat from the virus may be decreasing, the threat of violent crime has been steadily climbing in the other direction and that has altered the way employers have been advising their workers about safely commuting and navigating the streets of the city. At some Wall Street financial institutions, managers are telling staffers to be “cautious” about how they make their way to the office. At Bank of America, they are encouraging younger employees to dress in more casual, nondescript clothing without any sort of company emblem visible in order to lessen the chances of being mugged or assaulted. Others are taking additional safety precautions. So has the lack of law and order in the streets permanently altered the working lives of Gotham’s residents? (NY Post)

Amid a surge in some New York City violent crime, Wall Street bigwigs continue to encourage younger staffers to come into the office — but to do so with caution.

At Bank of America, senior executives have quietly encouraged younger employees to “dress down” to attract less attention as they make their way to B of A’s tower at 1 Bryant Park.

These execs have told their staffers that dressing up, or wearing anything with a Bank of America logo, could make them a target. One bank employee told On The Money he is on high alert after he spotted someone with a knife near the office during a recent trek to the Manhattan office.

This is a rather sad state of affairs. Rather than dressing up for work in a professional environment, staffers are being advised to “dress down” so they don’t look like tempting targets for muggers. The managers are clearly aware that the streets are simply not safe anymore.

Other businesses are going even further. The walk from Penn Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal to people’s homes and offices is seen as being too dangerous, particularly after dark. Citibank has begun providing private shuttles so their staffers can avoid public transit altogether. Others have established contracts with car services or ride-sharing apps so the staff can be taken from door to door for free.

Are people in New York City just going to accept that the criminals have largely taken over the streets and adjust their professional lifestyles to avoid becoming another statistic? People shouldn’t have to tolerate this. It’s the first job of the government to keep its citizens safe and able to function normally without fear of being robbed, beaten, or worse on their way to or from work. And when municipal officials are failing in that duty they must be held accountable.

There is at least some hope that when Bill de Blasio is finally gone next month and Eric Adams is in office, a greater measure of security will be restored and a more normal commuting routine will be possible. One CEO told reporters that he hoped this was the case but, “it’s almost like he can’t get here soon enough to restore law and order.”

The subway stations are not safe. If you’re not being shaken down for money, somebody may be along shortly to randomly shove you onto the tracks. The sidewalks near Penn Station and the bus terminal are danger zones, with people regularly being stabbed, shot, or mugged as soon as the sun goes down. People didn’t ride out the pandemic just to have their city stolen from them by gang members. Something has to be done sooner rather than later.



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