Reports of filthy NYC subway cars further degrade mass transit conditions

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Monday, June 14, 2021
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Lauren Glassberg has more on reports of unsanitary conditions in the subway.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Reports of unsanitary conditions in the subway, including everything from feces and blood to garbage, are grossing out riders of New York City's transit system and creating another deterrent -- along with crime -- to getting the Big Apple back to normal.

Now, the MTA is planning adjustments to try and clean it up the filthy situation.

Still, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 provided disgusting images to make the case that the MTA should hire more cleaners.

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Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the MTA has supplemented cleaning and sanitizing operations with non-union contract workers, but as many 200 union cleaning jobs sit unfilled.

"Now they have the money, they're hiring other titles they should hire the cleaners title," union President Tony Utano said. "I want ridership to come back, and having dirty trains doesn't help management and doesn't help us."

Utano said reports of soiled train cars this past May were up 27% from May of 2020, with the worst lines being the 4, 6 and 2.

The MTA says data actually shows a decrease in soiled cars, but officials acknowledge the mess in the cars is a challenge.

"These unsanitary conditions are a challenge for our professional cleaners, who work hard every day to ensure trains and stations are clean for riders," MTA spokesperson Michael Cortez said. "We continue to maintain the enhanced cleaning regimen started at the onset of the pandemic, and monitor terminal locations where most soiled cars are identified to adjust future staffing as required."

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Both the MTA and the union blame the city for some of the problems, for not doing enough outreach to the homeless and mentally ill people who spend time on the platforms and on the trains cars.

"I'm more worried about the homeless or crime," one rider said. "You can handle the dirty subway platform or car...Safety is an issue."

Between the safety concerns and the filthy conditions, it seems quality of life issues below ground keep rising to the surface.

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