2016 kicked off with a dramatic surge in subway slashings, and the MTA has a new strategy intended to reduce violent subway crime: make a list of the worst repeat offenders and pass their names off to the NYPD and the city's district attorneys.

The NYPD has been kicking this idea around for a while, but its feasibility was questionable: when a ban on "career criminals" came up at a January NYPD meeting, NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox said that "he had already had many discussions about barring these individuals from transit with the MTA, but the MTA told him there was nothing that they could do about it by law," a source told the Post.

Now the Daily News reports that MTA officials voted yesterday in favor of creating a new unit that will be tasked with identifying and tracking the prosecution of people committing subway crimes, and then pressing DA's offices to pursue plea deals that include bans on using the transit system.

As things currently stand, approximately 65 repeat offenders are banned from the subway as part of their parole or probation deals, but police cannot arrest them on sight—instead, they're referred to their case officers. Under this new policy, repeat offenders in violation of their agreements would be subject to immediate arrest by police, who wouldn't have much trouble identifying them thanks to this proposed list.

According to the NY Post, the unanimous vote in favor of creating the new MTA unit came after Fox presented January's subway crime statistics, which showed that subway crime was up over 36 percent from the same period in 2015. That report also showed that felonious assault—the category that slashings fall into—was up 208 percent, more than any other crime. Fox said at Monday's meeting that 12 of the 37 felony assaults in January were stabbings or slashings.

Earlier this month, Mayor de Blasio told reporters that the recent uptick in slashings was not a trend or copy-cat phenomenon. At the same press conference, NYPD Commissioner Bratton threw his support behind banning "career criminals" from the subway: "Some of these characters have been out there for 25 years with 50, 100, 150 arrests under their belts. If they continue to go in, let's put them away for a longer period of time so they can't keep victimizing New Yorkers...Might it require legislation? Possibly. In that case, let's give it a try."

The MTA's new unit is expected to have three people and be fully functioning by June.