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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — The rise in crime in the New York City subway system is one of the big challenges ahead for the new president of NYC Transit, who officially began his job Monday.

And Richard Davey, who was out greeting riders in the morning, has said his top priorities are safety and security.

“Safety is an absolute number one, two, and three on their minds,” Davey said.

It’s no small job, working to stop crime in the system that is top of mind for every rider.

MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said one way to combat the crime on the system is to stop fare evaders, and the 48-year-old Davey is on board.

“I did see some fare vending machines that weren’t working today,” he said. “Fare evasion is a key issue, but we have to make sure people can actually pay as well.”

Davey previously served as Secretary of Transportation in Massachusetts.

Now, he will work to combat crime and bring back subway ridership that is still down dramatically since the pandemic.

“We have a lot of work to do around safety and making people feel safe to come back,” Davey said.

Davey also reviewed the coordination of the MTA and city homeless workers as the agency works to get those living in the system off trains.

“Saw some of the end of the line work that we are obviously in closer cooperation with the NYPD, homeless services outreach,” he said. “We have to continue to step up that the effort, but I was able to see that first hand this morning.”

Davey also said another priority is addressing MTA staffing shortages.

And beyond the NYPD, he will add extra eyes on the platforms with MTA workers.

He promises change, but said it might take some time.

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