No matter the time of day — nor the number of empty seats in the subway car — transit cops can issue tickets to straphangers who take up more than one seat. And according to two commuters who were hit with $50 summonses on nearly empty trains passing through the 96th Street station after midnight, the city is undergoing a ticketing blitz (again).

Officers gave Fashion Institute of Technology student Josh Stevens back-to-back violations at the 96th Street station on Nov. 19 and 20 for taking up too much space at around 2:30 am, according to the Post. "After the second time, I asked the officer, 'Really, what's going on? Why is this happening?'" the Harlem resident and Cincinnati native said. "And he told me, 'Recently we've been told to write tickets instead of give warnings for this type of thing.' He said they need to hit quotas." Stevens admitted to stretching out the first time, but in the second case he insists he merely had his legs crossed. "The officer said it was a danger because people can get robbed on the subway if they fall asleep, which I didn't. Give me a break."

And this month, transit police ticketed waiter Andres Alzamora for occupying more than one seat on the 2 train at around 2:30 a.m, though the 58-year-old claims he just had his legs in front of the space next to him. "There was no one else in the subway with me," he said. "They just want to make money." An NYPD spokesman denied that there has been an uptick in ticketing. As of this time last year, 760 straphangers were hit with summonses for taking up more than on seat. So far this year, 784 such summonses have been issued. The ticketing is bound to continue — at least until the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launches its much-anticipated seatless trains.