More woes for the everyday commuter: the MTA will soon cut nearly 282 "customer assistants" from 86 stations in the city. The action, which the MTA hopes will shave $52 million from its budget, is set to take place in less than two weeks—and over the next several years the MTA will be getting rid of as many as 772 additional agents. “The plan to eliminate some secondary full-time agent booths is just one part of larger cost-saving efforts,” wrote Howard Roberts, Jr., president of New York City Transit. Both the subway fare hikes and the reduction of subway agents are a result of the MTA's messy deficit, and have left many New Yorkers beyond disgruntled. "They're going to make the subways scarier and less convenient and it's no way to treat their customers," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. In Manhattan, 63 booths, including tourist hubs along 42nd Street, will be affected. Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues in Brooklyn, Queens Plaza and Yankee Stadium will be among the others who will feel the pinch. But with daily headlines about subway pervs whose private parts just "fell out" and serial muggers, the issue may feel less like a pinch and more like another punch to the gut.