Ali Alejandrino says he's more alert while riding the subway these days, standing back on the platform and lowering his music to be more aware of what is going on around him. 

"There are various different kinds of people, all going through their own thing and you just want to get from point A to point B,” Alejandrino said.

Mayor Eric Adams agrees. The ex-cop admitted Tuesday that even he doesn’t feel safe underground.

What You Need To Know

  • Some subway riders say they don't feel safe riding the subway anymore

  • At the start of the year, Hochul and Adams announced a new plan to address subway crime and homelessness with more police

  • Advocates say more supportive housing, low threshold shelters and mental health care accessibility are the solutions to crimes involving homeless individuals on the subway

"On day one, I took the subway and I felt unsafe. I saw homeless everywhere, people yelling on the trains,” Adams said. “There was a feeling of disorder."

Ten days before 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go was shoved into an incoming train and killed, Adams announced hundreds of officers would be reassigned to the transit system. 

But advocates like Jacquelyn Simone of the Coalition for the Homeless say it is going to take more than a badge to solve the homeless crisis. 

"Surging police officers is fundamentally a way to respond after a crime has been committed, but what we are calling for is for more proactive policies to make sure that we can reduce homelessness overall by connecting people to housing, the low threshold shelters and the mental health support they need,” Simone said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul promised the state would create five new teams of social workers and medical professionals charged with getting homeless New Yorkers off subway trains and into shelters.

In the governor's budget, $25 billion is set aside to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes. Some advocates say housing is the solution to homelessness and the overwhelming majority of those experiencing it are not violent.

"People who are homeless and who have mental illness are more likely to be the victims of crimes instead of the perpetrators,” explained Simone.

But those new outreach teams, designed to solve problems, are not on the ground yet, and the governor's housing plan is set to take at least five years. 

Straphangers like Thais Sales say they will continue to have their guard up. 

"It is my transportation method for my life, for work, for everything, so I need this,” Sales.