There’s nothing worse than that quintessential summer subway experience of stepping off a scorching platform, only to find yourself trapped in a “hot subway car.”
Hot car season is upon us, but according to the MTA, New York is experiencing a milder one than in years past.
Since April, the authority reports that 729 cars have had defective air conditioning. That’s down from 1,014 hot cars in 2019. (Daily weekday subway ridership is still down about 50% from 2019.)
The MTA attributes the decrease to replacing some of the train cars’ “less durable parts,” and creating better air circulation.
In a statement, the MTA said it's working on a new feature that will be added to the HVAC system in older subway cars to reduce the number of malfunctioning air conditioners. It would be rolled out next year and apply to 1,764 train cars.
Still, a few repeat offenders appear to be turning up in the subway this year.
Even Gothamist’s Jen Chung got caught in a well known hot car.
For some, the hot car is just another excuse for the “New York is Back” Tweet.
Newer subway cars have two HVAC units. In the event one breaks down, the other one can still circulate air. Older cars only have one. If that one breaks down, the MTA will take a train car out of service.
Air circulation during COVID has been an outsized concern for some riders. Studies have shown the subway train cars have excellent air flow.
READ MORE: We Got Our First Air-Conditioned Subway Car In The 1960s
And even when there’s a hot car, the air is still circulating — it’s just not cool air, according to the MTA.
In the meantime, for riders who end up in a hot car, the MTA wants to hear about it. You can Tweet to the authority, or even better fill, out a form online that goes directly to the car equipment department. Just be sure to include the number of the train car.