Rep. Torres calls for more federal funding to improve transit safety

Torres' request comes after a fatal shooting at a Mount Eden train station earlier this week in the Bronx.

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2024, 11:27 PM

Updated 61 days ago

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Rep. Ritchie Torres, who represents New York’s 15th Congressional District, is calling for an increase in the Fiscal Year 2024 funding to increase transit safety.
It comes after a fatal shooting at a Mount Eden train station earlier this week in the Bronx.
Torres spoke with News 12’s Brittany Cadet on Saturday on his plan to fight gun violence on the streets of New York City and the city's public transportation.
"One of the root causes of gun violence here in the Bronx and throughout the city is the 'iron pipeline,'" Torres explained.
The "iron pipeline" is the term used to refer to Interstate-95, where officials say is how ghost guns are transported to the city.
"Even though New York City and New York state have the strictest gun laws in the country, state and local gun laws will only take you so far because guns can cross state lines," he added.
Earlier this week, Torres wrote a letter to the Committee of Homeland Security and Appropriations, requesting an increase in the Transit Security Grant program for the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.
"I'm pressuring the federal government to make every effort to crack down on the 'iron pipeline' in order to prevent these guns [from] going into the hands of dangerous people," he stressed.
Torres says a big help would be more funding through the Transit Security Grant program, which has dropped significantly over a decade.
"Federal funding for Transit Security has fallen from $350 million to $93 million over the course of a decade," he said.
New York City only gets a portion of the $93 million.
Torres' request comes right after the Mt. Eden 4 line station platform shooting in which a man died and five others were left injured. There was no police presence on the platform at the time of the shooting, but Torres says with more transit funding, it could've helped.
The funding would also go to a bigger investment for surveillance equipment -- equipment that could've aided police in their investigation after Frank James fired multiple rounds in 2022, piercing dozens in a subway station in Sunset Park. Cameras at that station were not working at the time of that shooting.
"Ultimately, there is no substitute for federal legislation. We need Congress to legislate standards of gun safety," Torres said.
Torres says he will be meeting in days to come with the Buerau of Alcholo, Tobacco, and Firearms to speak about the crack down of the 'iron pipeline.'
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