In the Middle of the Night, Subway Trains Are Garbage Trains


According to the Daily News, at night the MTA is using regular old people-transporting subway trains — not always the most pristine in the first place — to also move garbage that’s been collected from the tracks — and not behind the car, but actually inside it, with passengers. Because, since it’s New York, night, or early morning, does not mean that the subway is empty. One transit worker described seeing passengers lift up their feet because of the garbage bags leaking. Yuck.

“I’ve seen stacks of bags, leaking, blocking the doorway, blocking seats,” the transit worker said. “It may be 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. in the morning, but this is New York City. There’s always people on the train.”

A photograph taken early one morning last week shows at least a dozen orange bags stacked at one end of a car on the No. 6 line. There are no passengers in the photograph – probably because they’re so disgusted, the transit worker said.

The MTA says it is not their practice to use trains that are in service to remove trash — subway garbage is usually kept in storage rooms or bins until it can be picked up by an actual MTA refuse train — and is now investigating. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and look before you sit. Horrifyingly, the bags have been known to contain “rats looking for a meal.”

Late at night, MTA hauling reeking, rat-filled garbage on passenger subway cars between stations [NYDN]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 13, 2011

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