NEW YORK (WABC) --The MTA is trying to clean up the subway, kicking off the next phase of Operation Track Sweep with a two-week effort.
Trash and rats and more trash! Eyewitness News saw the same thing messing things up and scurrying around at Atlantic and Barclays as we saw at 72nd and Broadway on the Upper West Side.
"The tracks are in deplorable condition. There is garbage everywhere and rats all over and the tracks are filthy. The rats are walking upright and going all over the subway station," Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller, said.
Operation Track Sweep is focused on trying to change those conditions by dramatically reducing the amount of trash on subway tracks, improving the station environment, and reducing track fires and train delays.
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This second phase of this campaign is an intensive two-week, system-wide cleaning during which more than 500 workers will remove trash and debris from the tracks at all of the system's 469 stations - more than 10 miles of subway station track.
The clean-up work on underground stations will be done at night, when ridership is at its lightest.
During the day, workers will clean tracks at outdoor and elevated stations. During this phase of Operation Track Sweep, signs will be posted at each station noting the date and time that the tracks were cleaned.
The MTA is working with two manufacturers to develop a track vacuum system for the next phase of the plan.
In addition, the MTA has ordered a trio of new track vacuum trains, with the first two trains arriving in 2017, and a third in 2018. Vacuum trains can remove up to 14 cubic yards of trash every day.
The MTA is also purchasing 27 new refuse cars to move debris out of the system more quickly and support the new expanded cleaning effort. The cars are equipped with special railings to secure and transport wheeled garbage containers that are collected at subway stations.