NYC subway riders discovering unpleasant surprises in cars, platforms

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Although cleaning of subway cars and platforms have increased during the pandemic, passengers still feel there are lingering issues.

And the issues aren't just rubbish, but soiled seats and platforms.

"It's like someone peed on the seat," rider Ashley Rodriguez said.

It's always been against the rules to defecate in subway cars, but the transit board is now codifying those rules.

But with those rules come others, including 90-minute limits on sitting, lying down or using wheeled carts larger than 30 inches that doesn't apply to baby strollers. These rules criminalize the homeless, according to advocates.

"I think the biggest issue is it's a distraction and taking energy and effort away from solutions that could work," said Áine Duggan, of Partnership for the Homeless.

Things like outreach, mental health assistance and supportive housing are all possible solutions.

For its part, the MTA says this is all about the health of riders and workers.

"The rules are targeted at minimizing health risks to customers and employees every customer in the system," MTA chairman Pat Foye said.

Some customers feel empathetic to the homeless.

"A lot of people are falling on hard times, especially with the pandemic and losing jobs," one passenger said. "I think we need to find alternative solutions to help those people instead of penalizing them.

RELATED: 'She went berzerk on me': Subway mask request turns violent, woman attacked

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