UNION SQUARE, Manhattan - New York's governor is taking on one of the biggest causes of delays in the NYC subway system -- trash.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) toured the subway system's clean-up efforts at Union Square early Thursday morning.
"When you hear about fire on the tracks where do you think the fire comes from?" Cuomo said.
The clean-up project is a two-part initiative. The first is raising public awareness through public service announcements, and the second is doubling the fine for littering on the tracks from $50 to $100.
Cuomo said in the past five years, when the number of tickets issued for littering decreased, track fires increased. So starting in a week, state DEC officers, MTA and NYPD police will step up enforcement.
The MTA also showed off its new fleet of massive vacuums, which can suck up 70,000 pounds of trash a day. Additional MTA workers were hired to collect it.
Of course, there is the not-so-small issue of how to pay for all of this, which has reignited the long-standing feud between Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The governor wants to split the tab between the city and state. The mayor said the state has enough to cover the costs and said the MTA isn't spending wisely.
"The city can pay its fair share of the cost," Cuomo said. "It is owned by New York City. That's why Rudy Giuliani, Mayor Giuliani put the NYPD in the subway system. That's why Mayor Bloomberg paid directly from the city for the west side subway line."
Now riders have to hope political gridlock doesn't cause actual gridlock on the rails.