Hochul Makes History as First Governor to Attend an MTA Board Meeting
Governor Kathy Hochul and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chair and CEO Janno Lieber today commended 18 heroic MTA workers for their life-saving actions responding to the shooting at the 36 St station on Tuesday, April 12. The decisive actions of these 18 MTA employees helped to ensure the safety of passengers during the Sunset Park subway incident. The ceremony marked the first time that a sitting governor visited an MTA Board meeting.
“During the tragic shooting that occurred on the subway on April 12, one man set out to divide us. In response, our MTA workers sent a clear message: Don’t mess with New Yorkers, because if you attack one of us, you attack all of us,” Governor Hochul said. “These workers stepped up without hesitation to do everything they could to protect their fellow New Yorkers, and today we honor their heroism. Time and time again we see the heroes of the MTA work around the clock calmly in the midst of mayhem to ensure New Yorkers have efficient and safe transportation, and I am incredibly grateful for all their hard work and courage.”
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “Thank you to Governor Hochul for honoring our MTA colleagues for their role in responding to the April 12 shooting. Even with all the training that employees undergo, you can’t begin to appreciate what it’s like to experience something like this tragic incident until it happens. But these brave MTA employees stepped up – like they always do – to take care of New Yorkers and each other. They represent the best of New York. It is their hard work that keeps our system running day in and day out, in rain, in snow, and in all conditions – during a pandemic no less! – 24/7, 365 days a year. They are the heart and soul of the MTA, and we thank them, today and every day, for their service and dedication.”
Governor Hochul presented commendations to the following MTA employees:
David Artis, Train Operator
Raven Haynes, Conductor
Joseph Franchi, Train Operator
Dayron Williams, Conductor
Niall Maguire, General Superintendent
Gilberto Rosado, Train Service Supervisor
Jose Martinez, Conductor
Mark Wolodarsky, Line Superintendent
Sheila Hutson, District Customer Service Manager
Rolando Hernandez, Group Station Manager
Louis Lanfair, Group Station Manager
Chantay Adams, Group Station Superintendent
Angel Oquendo, Cleaner, NYC Transit Authority
Charlene Gardner, Cleaner, NYC Transit Authority
Peter Stone, Train Service Supervisor
Tanyia Brand-Jones, Digital Communications, Staff Analyst II, Digital Communications Unit
Annie Morrison, Digital Communications, Staff Analyst II, Digital Communications Unit
Tyler Schow, Digital Communications, Manager, Customer Communications, Digital Communications Unit
Artis and Haynes were the N train crew members who helped passengers to evacuate the Manhattan-bound train at the 36 St station. Franchi and Williams were operating a Brooklyn-bound N train one station away and stopped the R train at the 25 St station to ensure the train's riders were not heading into a dangerous situation.
Schow, Morrison, and Brand-Jones were members of the MTA’s Digital Communications Unit, who rapidly responded to the incident by providing clear service information, and they responded to an enormous volume of customer inquiries. Brand-Jones wrote the initial delay message for this incident, keeping a cool head and gleaning the most important service impact information as multiple conflicting reports came in.
Hutson, Lanfair, Hernandez, and Adams were station management team members who, upon notification of the incident, immediately made their way to 25 St and then 36 St to evaluate the situation. They provided support to MTA workers at the two stations and coordinated customer service to assist riders whose journeys were impacted by the incident. They also aided law enforcement by placing blue tarping around the station to allow the investigation to proceed securely.
Stone is a Train Service Supervisor who was in Bay Ridge at the 95 St station at the time of the incident. He went to 36 St immediately, where his detailed knowledge of the station proved invaluable to the NYPD as the investigation proceeded. He also applied the hand brake on the incident train to keep it secured in the station and contacted train crews to make sure they would know to bypass 36 St during the period of the incident and investigation.
Oquendo and Gardner were station cleaners on the scene at the 36 St and 25 St stations as the incident occurred. They calmly alerted booth agents and were among the first MTA employees to respond to the incident.
Maguire, Rosado, Martinez, and Wolodarsky were at the 38 St Yard and headed right to the 36 St station after initial reports about the incident. Without knowing the full details of the situation and without hesitation, they were among the first MTA employees to arrive on the scene to respond. They ensured that all customers on incident trains, as well as those on stalled trains on the same line, were able to detrain safely.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “These New Yorkers showed the world what our city is all about: community and looking out for each other. Thank you to these heroes for their service and bravery on that morning — thanks to you, no passenger was left behind, and our city keeps running day after day. Thank you also to the governor and the MTA for recognizing these heroes and their dedication to our fellow New Yorkers.”
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said, “Our frontline transit workers have always served New York City with distinction, but these MTA workers deserve special recognition for their heroic and timely actions. Their quick thinking saved many lives during the Sunset Park subway station shooting. All of today’s honorees played a critical role during this emergency and responded bravely to this tragic incident. By helping passengers evacuate and communicating clear information, these heroes deserve much tribute. As a city, we are deeply grateful for their valor and courage, and we thank them for their dedication to serving New York City.”
State Senator Tim Kennedy said, “In moments of crisis, New Yorkers are there for each other without hesitation. These brave MTA and New York City Transit workers ran towards the scene of tragedy, immediately ushering people to safety and providing comfort to those directly impacted. Their courageous spirit is a testament to who we are as a state - a community of helpers - and I'm deeply grateful to each and every one of these heroes.”
State Senator Leroy Comrie said, “I salute the heroism, courage, and service of the MTA workers we commend today. In the face of a chaotic, life-threatening emergency, their thoughtful actions protected the public and, I have no doubt, contributed to the fact that there were no deaths in this horrific attack. They truly live up to the spirit of public service we all aspire to, and for that New Yorkers are truly grateful.”
State Senator Zellnor Myrie said, "MTA workers give their all to keep our city moving every day, and their heroism and service on April 12 was exceptional. They represent the very best of New York. I'm honored to recognize them for their role in helping customers to safety and protecting our system day in and day out."
State Senator Jabari Brisport said, “I am deeply proud to be from a community that knows our strength and our safety is built on our commitment to looking out for one another. These MTA workers embodied that spirit on April 12th and they are a credit to our city.”
Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, “I want to thank the heroic men and women of the MTA and New York City Transit who once again responded in a time of crisis. These employees jumped into action as the tragic events unfolded and many of them rushed to the 36 Street station without knowing what awaited them. They kept their calm and in doing so helped riders and NYPD alike as the station quickly became a crime scene. I applaud their heroic efforts and thank them on behalf of all New Yorkers.”
Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes said, "It goes without saying that the MTA workers play a crucial role in serving and ensuring that our city runs every day with safety and care. The role that the workers played on the day of the 36 Street station shooting only shows to every New Yorker that our public workers are always willing to selflessly ensure that every neighbor, friend, and commuter are kept out of harm’s way. The only way we can truly express our gratitude for their courageous efforts is by ensuring that our State adequately funds our public transportation infrastructure, and ensure every worker, regardless of their responsibility and duty, get the care and pay they properly deserve. We must always invest in our public institutions and our workers."