MTA and the Health Department Join Forces against the Pernicious Evils of Subway Rats


You know how sometimes, when there are big problems at hand, it’s easier to distract yourself with teensy insignificant problems just to feel as though you’re resolving something?

The MTA can totally relate. While dealing with service cuts, the removal of the V and Q lines (which left some signs speling FML), and an expensive, way-behind-schedule Second Avenue subway line, the Transit Authority shushed dissatisfied riders with countdown clocks and is now tackling rat infestation as though it’s a new phenomenon.

“We’re actually trying to measure what the factors are directly that cause rats to take advantage of certain stations and not others, so we’re putting some science into this,” Robert Corrigan, a Health Department senior research scientist leading the effort, told the Post.

Rats are mainly attracted to trash storage rooms where trash collected from the platforms is gathered for disposal, Corrigan found. Let’s hope he found out more than the Post published, because a simple sniff test and some common sense would have lead an imbecile to the same conclusion.

“Sometimes, when we wait for a train, [a rat] makes its appearance right on our waiting platform,” Corrigan said. “People have been frightened off the platform by these animals, so it’s not a thing to be taken lightly.” Is this a real danger? Man up, people!

At the end of the article, the Post points out that this project has also been slowed by “budget woes,” but that Corrigan is hoping for a new rat control plan within a year or two.

If we have to cut the budget somewhere, maybe we should consider starting here. Rat-infested but reliable beats pristine but slow any day.