NEW YORK CITY — The MTA canceled its plan to remove homeless people from the E trains on Monday in order to clean cars for the morning rush hour, a spokesman said Friday.
"It's been canceled because it's been portrayed as something it isn't, and we want to eliminate any potential for confusion," said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg.
The program, announced Wednesday at a community meeting in Queens, was a response to increased complaints of an upswing in homeless people in the subway system during the exceptionally cold winter.
There were more than 1,800 people living on the subways in 2013, up from 1,000 in 2009, according to the city's annual HopeNYC street survey.
The MTA planned to assist the NYPD in temporarily removing homeless people from the E train at the Jamaica Center and World Trade Center stations starting Feb. 24 at 3 a.m. as an outreach program.
People who did not want to leave the subway system would not be forced to do so, an MTA spokesman said.