MTA train operator faces suspension for tweeting photos of subway homelessness

Photo credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The MTA plans to suspend a train operator for posting photos of homeless people in the subway system to social media during the pandemic, according to reports.

Yann Hicks, 55, faces the suspension for tweeting photos of subway homelessness, some of which other transit workers sent to him, THE CITY reported.

Hicks told the outlet he started posting the photos to protect the health of the agency’s employees. A photo he tweeted on Oct. 6 showed a straphanger without a mask, and “no police anywhere,” he wrote in the photo caption.

“I’m a shop steward and this is what we do, we protect our members,” he said. “I want to work in an orderly subway, I want to ride in an orderly subway and I want the transit police to do their job.”

But a notice the agency slapped him with also said he violated New York City Transit standards by posting “adverse criticism of the NYPD and NYCT," according to the outlet.

“Transit employees in critical frontline operating positions are not permitted to use phones while on duty,” an MTA spokesperson told the outlet. “This policy is informed by safety concerns.”

The New York Post reported that the suspension is set to last for 30 days. Hicks told the Post he doesn’t “have any problem with the homeless.”

“I just want them to wear a mask, and I don’t want them to have the shopping cart,” he said, citing a subway fire that killed another train operator in March and may have started in a shopping cart.

“The train is not a destination. The train is for bringing people to their destination,” he added.