MTA's new chairman sees hope for the future

A train arrives to the Astor Place station early Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo/ Dima Gavrysh)

January 11, 2012 3:22:04 PM PST
With the Fastrack blitz in full swing, MTA officials say the work is extremely important to maintain the system and no one knows that more than the MTA's new chairman.

Ray Lhota rides the subways, knows them first hand.

"It is a great asset for the city of New York," he said.

Lhota stresses the importance of "Fastrack"- the unique maintenance blitz in which subway stations are closed overnight. Trains stop running on a section of the line so that all sorts of maintenance issues are tackled.

"We're finding new and different ways to maintain it, upgrade it. I think it's important that we do that, Lhota said.

Much of the work, especially maintaining the tracks, signals and switches is out of sight.

Riders are seeing the aesthetic changes such as painting and new lighting.

We wanted to know what you think, asking on Eyewitness News Facebook: How are the conditions at your subway station? Are you still seeing lots of rats?

Tamara Yhler posted, "The A and C lines are nasty in general. They often smell bad and are the worst kept..."

"We can't do it all at once, but we're doing station, by station, by station," Lhota said.

Posting about rats, Destinee writes, "Sometimes the rats look at me like I'm invading their space by being in the station."

Yvette Martinez-Bognar posts: "...ridiculous rat invasions in our stations and streets."

Previously as deputy mayor, Chairman Lhota also worked on efforts to control the city's rat problem. It's an ongoing problem within the subway system too. He's asking for riders' help.

"If we don't leave food on the subways, if we don't leave food on the platforms and food on the tracks, it will go a long way in helping to eradicate this infestation," he said.

Pilar Ayende posted: "Trust me fare prices go up and the rats will still be there!! It's the people throwing their trash and food on the tracks!!"

The MTA has pulled trash cans from two major subway stations in a pilot project to reduce trash in the system and better control the rats.

"I think it's important that we make it safer, make it cleaner, make it more secure, and do the best we can," Lhota said.


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