Enjoy Looking At Subway Rats? Play ‘Rate My Rat’


Did you enjoy looking at that picture of the giant rat in the Bronx Foot Locker? Yes? First, ew, and second, we’ve got the perfect quest for you. As part of their “New Yorkers Deserve A Rat-Free Subway” campaign, the city’s Transport Workers Union has started a “Rate My Rat” contest.

The game is simple: Stand on subway platform. See a rat or some trash that might house a rat. Take a picture. Upload the picture. If your rate gets the most votes for “best rat” you win a MetroCard. has some “official contest rules:”

1. This contest is only open to “the 99%.” If your income is more than a million dollars a year, you don’t use the subways, so you’re not on this website anyway.

2. Uploading photos of “Ben” or “Socrates” from the movie classic “Willard” is not allowed as those images are protected by copyright.

3. Photos taken by mutant rats in the system who know how to use a cellphone are encouraged.

4. Employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are encouraged to submit photos of the rats they encounter on a daily basis. The ones with four legs, that is.

Though some of the rats in the gallery are pretty nasty, we do have a soft spot for the little guy/girl at Grand Central drinking out of a Miller Light can. He’s our kind of rat.

For inspiration, maybe take a look at this gallery of reader-submitted subway rat photos City Room collected in summer 2010.

TWU spokesman Jim Gannon told Runnin’ Scared in an email that the contest, which ends Sunday, was was “a way to engage riders in a fun way.” It is part of a larger ongoing effort from TWU Local 100 to pressure the MTA to take steps get rid of the rats. The union’s campaign started in September. Here’s an introductory video: