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Breaking News: The Subways Are Unconscionably Dirty and Barely Maintained

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office released an audit of the MTA on Thursday. In news that surprises absolutely no one, Stringer found that the MTA does a terrible job of cleaning the subways. What is kind of surprising, however, is how thoroughly the MTA misses the mark. They’re not even hitting the dartboard; they’re throwing the darts directly onto the flammable trash pile on the tracks, to be gnawed on by rats.

“The MTA standard is to clean each of its 276 stations once every three weeks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “But the audit, by the office of City Comptroller Scott Stringer, found that 97% of the stations were cleaned less frequently.” The WSJ also reports that one of the two vacuum trains used to suck up trash off the tracks was out of service 311 days during the year-long period of audit. Perhaps most distressingly, the maintenance workforce has been cut in half since 2008, despite rising ridership and fare hikes.

There’s also the rats.

“Our auditors observed rats scurrying over the tracks and onto subway platforms, and it’s almost as if they were walking upright – waiting to take the train to their next meal,” Stringer said during the press conference (One of the MTA’s responses to the rat problem has been to remove garbage cans from some stations, which feels like a direct encouragement to strew trash wherever you please).

“It makes no sense. The whole way the MTA (has) approached cleanliness is just something that is beyond belief,” Stringer told CBS. “When you look at what our auditors found you realize that a world-class city has a second-rate subway system. It looks and smells terrible.”

The audit recommends allocating more money for cleaning and maintenance, a better system for cleaning the tracks, and making sure the fucking vacuum trains actually work, you useless dummies.

(Photo: m01229)