Lack of air conditioning on the 1 train leaves riders boiling mad

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Friday, September 7, 2018
1 train riders commute in oppressive heat
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The air conditioning was not working on the train.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Nowhere has the heat been more oppressive this summer than underground, with many complaints about air conditioning breaking down on some New York City subway trains, mostly older trains where fixing the AC is more difficult.

And whoever said Labor Day is the end of summer never rode the 1 train in September.

We all know it's hotter underground, but the 1 train lately has been extra toasty.

"Every train I got onto there was no AC," said one rider.

"Not only is it hot, like no AC but everyone's sweat becomes airborne," another rider said.

It was sweltering Thursday night in Times Square. Our thermometer said it was 96.8 degrees underground.

But that was nothing compared to a train with no AC, which was easy to find by looking for the car with open windows.

We decided to take a poll.

"Who rides the 1 train and it's always out of AC?", we asked. "All the time! All the time. Every single time!," was the response from the passengers.

We went only two stops uptown on the 1 train and it was 97.7 degrees, during the evening rush hour.

"I noticed when I came right out, it's like cooler right here on the platform than it is inside", a straphanger said.

And it's not like the MTA doesn't know, as passengers were venting their frustration on social media Thursday.

"Another day another 1 train with no AC," said one rider on Twitter.

"It has to be well over 100 degrees in this 1 train car and no AC. The MTA inhumane," read another tweet.

What is going on? The MTA says less than 2 percent of its cars lack AC. But the 1 line has some of the oldest cars and they're harder to repair.

"Legacy cars have HVAC units that are located on the underside of the chest where they are vulnerable to debris and dust and tracks," the MTA says. " By contrast in millennium cars the HVAC units are located on the roof."

And within 5 years, 1,500 new cars will replace them.

Until then, riders will keep sweating it out.


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